Tesla’s more advanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features may soon find a home in Germany, with the country now allowing Level 4 autonomous driving on its roads. The law, which would allow autonomous cars and buses to operate in defined zones nationwide, was passed by the federal cabinet on Wednesday.
The update was related by Federal Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer, who noted that the law would put Germany at the forefront of countries embracing autonomous driving. With Level 4 vehicles allowed to operate, companies could roll out cars that run entirely on their own. True to their L4 designation, however, human drivers would still be required under the law, just in case manual interventions are required.
“Germany will be the first country in the world to bring autonomous vehicles out of the research labs and onto the road – today, we have taken a decisive step toward this goal. I am delighted that the cabinet has cleared the way for our law on autonomous driving. Now the draft will go to the Bundestag and Bundesrat for further consultation. We need swift implementation for the innovations in the transformation process. I am sure that we will reach groundbreaking agreements here, too, so that Germany continues to be the international number one in autonomous driving,” Scheuer said.
Companies like Tesla could roll out its bleeding-edge driver-assistance technologies in Germany without much opposition with such a law in place. This should greatly benefit owners of Tesla’s electric cars in the country, especially those who have purchased the company’s Full Self-Driving suite, which is poised to receive massive improvements when the company expands the FSD Beta rollout. As noted by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), the country aims to bring vehicles with autonomous driving features into regular operations by 2022.
Interestingly enough, Scheuer’s previous remarks about the importance of autonomous driving technologies are not that different from that of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who maintains that technologies like Autopilot and FSD are will make roads fundamentally safer. In a statement, the Transport Minister expressed similar sentiments, stating that the majority of accidents on the road are due to human error.
“We now want autonomous cars and buses that bring passengers to their destination exactly as needed – and then park themselves in the parking garage. It’s not just convenient, it’s safe. Nine out of ten accidents happen because people make mistakes. Mostly because they’re distracted. In contrast, self-driving cars are controlled by a computer. He doesn’t get distracted or gets tired,” he said.