Black boxes could pave way for self-driving cars in Germany

Article by Christian A., on June 26, 2014

German carmakers are mulling using "black box" data recorders in self-driving cars, just like those found in aircraft. While black boxes could be a concern in Germany, no thanks to surveillance worries, they could pave the way for the introduction of the autonomous driving technology.

Google and a number of carmakers including Mercedes-Benz and BMW have already developed autonomous or semi-autonomous cars.

Some features of the autonomous driving technology remained unreleased for public use – like automatic overtaking on motorways – no thanks to some legal questions surrounding them. The absence of such features could only mean fully self-driven car prototypes will remain such.

However, many see the installation of black boxes as a possible answer to those legal questions, since they would be able to tell who would be liable when a self-driving car gets involved in a crash.

The issue is currently a hot topic at Germany's "roundtable on autonomous driving," which is a group made up of carmakers, lawyers, privacy advocates and insurance executives aiming to ensure that the country does not lose its edge in carmaking.

The group is tasked to determine any shortcoming in the country regulation, technological know-how, and legal framework. A person privy with the deliberations at the group told Reuters that black boxes in cars is one the items being discussed.

With 9 of 10 accidents point to human error, engineers at carmakers believes that cars should be given more flexibility to intervene and assist drivers in a dangerous situation, just like how computers help pilots land planes.

But who would be liable when a self-driving car crashes has become a crucial issue to be resolved since German law currently does not distinguish between a car driven autonomously or semi-autonomously and the level of driver involvement.

To determine who is primarily responsible for an accident – the car, the driver or a third party -- insurers and carmakers want to collect car data like speed and inputs from sensors, cameras and the driver.

The data can be used by insurers to draw up policies “more tailored to a certain risk profile," according to Martin Stadler of German insurer Allianz. [source: Reuters]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

Aside from the officially confirmed BMW 8 Series, the next generation BMW M5 (F90) is getting a lot of attention from the fans, enthusiasts and even potential customers around the...
by - May 27, 2017
Automobili Lamborghini’s preparations for the production of its first ever sports utility vehicle, the new Lamborghini Urus, has reached new grounds as the Italian carmaker is disclosing plans to construct...
by - May 26, 2017
The upscale version of the GMC Yukon body-on-frame sport utility vehicle – the GMC Yukon Denali – has been refreshed for the 2018 model year. It now sports a new...
by - May 26, 2017
The largest gathering of Volkswagen and Audi cars in Europe is underway, and the German premium carmaker is displaying the third model of its G-Tron range at the 2017 Worthersee...
by - May 26, 2017
Have you been wondering how much you have to produce to acquire a 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift? Wonder no more, as Mercedes-Benz has already divulged the pricing – at least...
by - May 26, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries