The self-driving car is something that we all are fascinated about these days, and the video on Tesla’s autopilot feature surely gave most of us goosebumps. However, the recent fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S on autopilot mode did put a question about how secured we actually are inside these intelligent cars. Investigators are still trying to find out if it’s the autopilot functionality or the driver sitting inside it that is at fault. Whatever it is, this incident surely made an impact on the government of Germany, the home to some of the world’s largest car companies including Volkswagen, Daimler, and BMW.
As Reuters reported, the transport ministry of Germany is planning a new legislation that is expected to be rushed through the approval process this summer, including some new rules for the drivers. The law, if passed, would make it mandatory for all self-driving cars to have a black box (similar to the one in an airplane) installed. The hardware would record the decisions made by the autopilot functionality, when the driver was under the control of the car, as well as would pinpoint the exact moment when the system requested that the driver takes over.
Under this law, drivers aren’t subjected to pay attention to the road or to the steering, but they need to be in the driving seat in order to intervene in the case of an emergency. So, if you’re planning to have a nap on the driving seat of the self-driving cars, forget about it.
According to a spokesperson from the transport ministry, the draft is awaited to be sent to other ministries for approval this summer.
This is such a great initiative as most countries don’t have clear regulatory and legal framework around self-driving cars, which has become an issue after the fatal accident of Tesla Model S in Florida last May. However, the company has reportedly said that their autopilot functionality is still under development and is not meant to be used as a completely autonomous driving solution.