Germany to introduce laws for driverless cars

The German transport minister will draft a legal framework for the use of driverless cars on the country’s roads, The Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday.

Under current laws, self-driven or robot cars are not allowed on Germany’s motorways, because according to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic to which the country is enrolled, a human driver must be behind the wheel.

Driverless cars have been gaining momentum over the past few years and are likely to become a feature on German roads, said Alexander Dobrindt, creating a need for legal guidelines.

Dobrindt has set up a committee including researchers, industry professionals and politicians, to lay down the framework that would make it lawful.

The blueprint is expected to be presented at the Frankfurt car fair in September, while Germany’s A9 motorway will be expanded to test driverless car prototypes. The scheme will focus on damage policies in case of an accident and insurance clauses.

As E&T news reported, autonomous concept cars from some of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers have been introduced in the last year, heralding a future change and societal shift in the role cars serve as a form of transport.

Driverless cars are already being tested by Google, which unveiled its concept for driverless cars in 2013, and they are currently running on the streets of Sunnyvale, California, where the company is based.

The UK government started testing self-driving cars in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich this year, probing different aspects of driverless technology.

Germany plans on introducing its first commercial driverless cars by 2020, said the newspaper.

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