The country’s Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has decided to pass new legislation that includes a proposition to mandate black boxes inside every car that has autonomous technology.
Considering the latest issues encountered in America by Tesla’s Autopilot users, and with a bevy of models packing today or in the near future semi-autonomous driving technology, it’s already obvious new legislation to handle the issues stemming is needed. Especially when it comes to accidents, where the liabilities could fall in the wrong “hands”. One of the solution proposed – and one that may very well be very effective – is the fitting of a black box, similar to what aircrafts carry. Germany’s Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt is now mulling it as mandatory equipment on all cars using any form of autonomous technology.
The government official considers a black box might be the optimum solution to determine the accident’s fault – all the data pertaining to the autonomous functions would be recorded – including when it was turned on, and whether or when the driver was asked to regain control of the vehicle. The same proposal also clears a path towards more flexibility while using the autonomous functions, allowing the driver to focus on other activities and even removing their hands off the steering wheel, but they would still need to remain in the driver’s seat to regain control at a moment’s notice. For now the legislation is in its incipient form, during the summer being subject to approval to other ministries in the country.