German draft law provides for general approval for autonomous vehicles: Page 2 of 2

July 27, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
German draft law provides for general approval for autonomous vehicles
At an industry event, a previously unpublished draft law of the German government on autonomous driving was presented and discussed. The law could make Germany the first country in the world to generally approve driverless vehicles for SAE Level 4.

In terms of content, the draft law provides for a two-stage approval procedure: The car manufacturer defines a set of spatial and technical conditions under which his vehicle can drive autonomously. If this is approved by the supervisory authority - in Germany it is the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (Federal Motor Transport Authority, KBA) - then in a second step he must prove that the necessary technical requirements (e.g. car-to-x communication) are available in the relevant area. Once these conditions are met, the carmaker can put the respective vehicles into circulation – in contrast to today’s situation when automated vehicles require a special permit.

During the automated phase of the journey, a "Technical Supervisor" in the form of a virtual instance in the cloud must monitor the safety of the journey. If necessary, it can intervene in the event of problems, although obviously not in real time.

In addition, a data storage device is provided in the vehicle, which continuously records all relevant parameters and is available for forensic purposes if necessary.

In its recent "Chapter Event", The Autonomous focused on the topic of Safety & Regulation. The initiative brings together leading players in autonomous driving as well as government and regulatory representatives to create a common understanding of safety for autonomous mobility. Through cooperation within the global community, concrete reference solutions will be defined which will subsequently guarantee the safety of autonomous driving.

In June 2020, a regulation for automated lane keeping systems (ALKS) was adopted at the level of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE). Global regulations for fully autonomous driving from SAE Level 4 are not yet in force, explains Benedikt Wolfers, a lawyer involved in the matter.

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