Autonomous mobility 1, 2016

Regulation on Autonomous Driving



Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology


The regulation specifies different rules for 3 specific cases of autonomous driving, namely, an autonomous minibus, vehicles equipped with highway cruise control and lane change, and autonomous army vehicles.
An autonomous minibus must have a maximum of 8 seats in addition to the driver and may only use autonomous driving features at a maximum speed of 20km/h. It may only be tested on public roads when 1000 kilometers of prior testing had already been completed. Testing may not be done on a commercial basis. In the event of a critical situation the driver must regain control of the vehicle. 
Vehicles with autonomous highway cruise control and lange change may be tested on public roads after 10 000 kms of prior testing. The vehicle may perform longitudinal guidance of the vehicle, such as accelerating, braking, stopping, and distance control, as well as transverse guidance of the vehicle, such as holding lane, changing lane, and overtaking. In the event of a critical situation the driver must regain control of the vehicle and before leaving the highway the human driver must regain full control.
In the case of army vehicles, the vehicle must be able to accomplish all driving tasks autonomously or by teleoperation. It may only be tested on public roads by the Ministry of Defense, following 300 kms of prior testing. Such testing may include autonomous driving, teleoperated driving, and platooning. This is the only vehicle type which may be tested on any type of road. 
Regardless of the type of vehicle, their use is only allowed if they have been approved, they are in serial production, and are used only for the purposes of testing. The vehicles must also comply with existing regulations on road traffic, air pollution, and railroad crossing.
Vehicles with assistance or autonomous driving features may only be tested on public roads with the appropriate insurance, evidence of which must carried in the vehicle. In addition, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology must receive certain information, such as the type of autonomous use case, details about the organisation performing testing, as well as the driver in the vehicle during testing, the number of real, virtual or experimental test kilometers to date with the system to be tested, and information about the duration and location of testing.
Public road testing may only be conducted if sufficient previous tests have been done. This must be evidenced to the Ministry, which issues a permit, which must be carried in the vehicle at all times. At the end of the test period the Ministry must be informed about the learning derived from tests, especially about any accidents, failures or critical situations.
Furthermore, a suitably qualified driver must always be present behind the wheel, who may hand over certain tasks to the autonomous system but they remain responsible for regaining control whenever necessary. The driver must also consent to the collection of data about the vehicle’s control system. 
Vehicles equipped with assistance systems or automated or networked driving systems that are not authorized for traffic may be equipped with a test-drive number plate and be allowed on public roads. 
Vehicles must be equipped with an accident data capture system, which must be operational during testing. This may only capture data about the electronic control system of the car and the data must not be alterable. The data may only be used for the purposes of the test and to reconstruct critical situations or accidents. Data about accidents, including recordings from a 30 second timespan preceding and following the event must be provided to authorities at their request. 
In case video data is also to be captured during a test, this must be approved by the Data Protection Authority and all recordings of number plates and persons must be made unrecognizable.

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