The German Bundesrat, the second chamber of the federal parliament, has approved a law that will regulate autonomous driving in the country for the next two years.
Autonomous cars are “the biggest mobility revolution since the invention of the automobile”, says German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt. But even revolutions need rules, especially in Germany.
The law clarifies what manufacturers are permitted to do when testing autonomous vehicles on German roads, and regulates liability in case of accidents.
Specifically, the law states that autonomous vehicles must be fitted with a black box that registers at all times who is driving: the software of a human driver. This data will be used to determine liability in case of accident.
Also, all autonomous cars must have a driver, who must be able to take over from the autonomous system at any given time.
Considering the speed with which self-drive technology is developing, the German parliament has decided to revisit and if necessary adapt this law in two years' time.