Germany has adopted a new legislation that will allow driverless vehicles, including autonomous robotaxis on public roads by 2022. On 20 May, the Bundestag passed the bill “to amend the Road Traffic Act and the Compulsory Insurance Act – Act on Autonomous Driving” (19/27439).

The law intends to re-regulate the technical requirements for the construction, condition and equipment of motor vehicles with autonomous driving functions and procedures for issuing an operating license for vehicles with independent driving functions by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA).

The federal government stated that the new regulation would enable autonomous driving to be used in various areas of mobility and boost vast opportunities for business and supply trips in the municipal area. In addition, the legislation reads that “In the future, autonomous vehicles should be able to drive nationwide without a physically present driver in specified operating areas of public road traffic in regular operation.”

While autonomous testing is currently allowed in Germany, the new bill enables companies to deploy robotaxis and delivery services on the country scale, for example different uses in public passenger transport and logistics. According to the Federal Government, “further steps must be taken to introduce corresponding systems into regular operation so that the potential of these technologies can be exploited and society can participate in them.”

Companies that are currently looking to operate commercial driverless vehicles in Germany will need to adhere to several rules, including liability insurance and having access to stopping autonomous operations remotely.

Source: Deutscher Bundestag