Germany Passes Law Approving Autonomous Car Testing

While the US continues to be the center of self-driving car development, locations like California and Michigan will no longer be the only options for car makers to test and develop their autonomous technology. Germany has just passed a law that gives auto companies permission to test their self-driving cars on public roads, as long as a number of safety conditions are met.

This means German car makers like Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and BMW will be able to test their autonomous driving features on their home turf, without the need to go halfway around the world. The new law can also be beneficial for US and other car companies, with Germany now acting as another international location for testing, with its different roads and driving behaviors.

Among the requirements companies need to meet to test their vehicles on German roads include having a human driver behind the wheel at all times with the ability to take over from the car's AI when needed. All self-driving cars must also have a black box-like device that can record when the AI is in control and when a human is doing the driving.

The box's recording will be used to identify exactly how the car was being controlled in the event of an accident. According to the new German law, the car manufacturer will be held responsible for an accident caused by the AI, while the human driver will take the blame if they were the one in control.

SOURCE Reuters