Germany will soon lay down legal guidelines for driverless cars to be followed on the country’s autobahns.
The German transport minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said that some rules are required to be in place for driverless or robot cars, which are probably to hit German roads within a few years.
Dobrindt has created a committee including figures from research, industry and politics, to sketch a legal framework. He said he is expecting a draft of key points to be ready before the Frankfurt car fair in September.
Current rules, as according to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic to which Germany is signed up, do not allow self-drive or robot cars on German roads, because a human being always has to be at the controls.
Questions to be clarified in the new legal framework include who would be responsible when the car’s computer fails causing an accident, how is a robot car is to be insured and how licenses should be regulated?
Dobrindt also announced a few days ago that he was designating a stretch of Germany’s busy A9 autobahn in Bavaria for testing robot car prototypes.
According to an internal memo, Germany’s traffic ministry hopes to create a network in which traffic jams and pollution can be reduced, while road safety will be increased.
“We will start with a digitization of the test section,” a spokesman for the ministry said.
“The goal is to introduce measuring points with which we will allow vehicle to vehicle and road to vehicle communication.”