Germanys way to autonomous driving
Recently the German Federal Council has approved the “Regulation on the Operation of Motor Vehicles with Automated and Autonomous Driving Functions”
With the enactment of this Regulation, the Act Amending the Road Traffic Act and the Compulsory Insurance Act – Act on Autonomous Driving of July 12, 2021 (BGBl. Teil I, p. 3108, issued on July 27, 2021) can take practical effect.
With this new Regulation, the Bundesrat paves the way to allow autonomous vehicles and the registration of robotaxis on designated routes in Germany. There were some changes made to the government draft by the state chamber. Among other things, there is no longer any provision for a technical visual check before each journey, instead, a morning inspection by the owner before the start of operation is sufficient.
The regulation mainly relates to cars that travel autonomously without a driver, in other words, without a safety driver on board. These so-called Level 4 vehicles are primarily robotaxis, shuttle buses or automated delivery vans. For private passenger cars, Level 4 technology is not expected to play a major role for the time being.
While in operation, the robot cars must be supervised by a type of control room, referred to in the draft as a “technical supervisor. The supervisor only has to intervene in hazardous or problematic situations. Furthermore, driverless driving will only be permitted in specific, defined operating areas that the vehicle is not allowed to leave, for example inner cities.