The evolution towards innovative ways of sustainable mobility is crossing a deep transformation, going on to implement safer systems. Technology is the basis for the advances that, nowadays, are already being made with the arrival of intelligent and autonomous cars; they look like they were taken out of a sci-fi movie, however, they are real. Also known as robotic, driverless or self-driving, it is able to imitate human driving and control abilities, drive in sequence, it is self-activated, it does not need a driver to do any mechanic operation, it is aware of the environment through complex techniques like laser, radar, LIDAR, GPS and computer vision.

However, this modern technology implies a meaningful change in road traffic laws, like the case of Germany, a first world country which wants to be at the top of automated driving in comparison with the US, for which the German Road Traffic Law (Straßenverkehrsgesetz, StVG) was amended: about the feasibility laws for the use of autonomous cars and its automatization, approving the project that reforms the road traffic laws, making it permissible to use autonomous cars in German roads, while keeping driver-assistance, since the on-board system warns the driver whenever it is needed to take control over the car.

Regulation of autonomous cars

Muchos vehículos automáticos andando rápidamente sobre una autopista
It is necessary to modify the road traffic laws in order to implement autonomous cars.

The main amendment in the German bill includes the registration of lateral control, the active state of the system and all the transfer requests of accident and insurance claims. All the information will be available to the authorities of Road traffic, as well as to third parties. The law is still yet to be ratified in the 16 federal states, because the driver is still present in the automatization of 3rd level cars, even if it is sometimes there and sometimes not there, even if it is only a backup in case of failure or loss of necessary conditions for the operation of the automated driving system, making it a supervision task for the driver; because the problem arises due to the national road traffic laws that have been developed taking the driver into account, this is, the driver on control.

From the technological point of view, it has become necessary to modify the regulation in some markets to allow the Automated Driving System to take conditional and full control of the driving and supervision task on road.

The future of autonomous cars

Aterdecer en el horizonte de una carretera
The future of autonomous cars is getting closer.

Germany indicated that the future of mobility involves connectivity, autonomous cars, shared vehicles and electric engines and it is expected that all German automakers that are technologically closer to the 3rd level of autonomous driving also benefit of this, making BMW and Mercedes Benz the main candidates and expecting Tesla to become one as well, since it is close to L3, emphasizing that they are the leaders in this change of great technological magnitude as the autonomous cars are.

Autonomous cars are one of the biggest technological advances nowadays that will change the way of driving and the road traffic laws. All these advances assisted by technological support favor the development of smart cars with safer elements to be able to curb the number of fatalities, even to the lack of them.

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