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Autonomous driving: Federal Motor Transport Authority presents catalog of requirements

Autonomous driving: Federal Motor Transport Authority presents catalog of requirements

According to some car managers, the future of traffic lies in autonomous driving. This already has a legal basis in Germany. Until now, however, there has been no set of rules that would make the legal basis applicable.
The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has now issued such a set of rules.

This sets out the requirements for what is known as "Automated Valet Parking" (AVP).
With AVP, vehicles can park autonomously in parking garages without the driver being in the vehicle. The driver leaves his car in a separate area after the barrier and can start the parking process via app. The vehicle then autonomously searches for a parking space and parks there. This corresponds to automated driving level 4 out of 5.

In order to be allowed to use this function, some requirements have to be met. The vehicle must not travel faster than 10 km/h, furthermore, an AVP drive should only be possible when there are no more people in the car and the vehicle must go into a safe state by itself at the end - for example, engage the parking brake. In addition to test cases that the vehicles must complete beforehand, there has to be a kind of emergency stop switch through which all AVP vehicles in a certain area are immediately transferred to the minimum-risk state as well.  And finally, the overall system should be designed in such a way that the car recognizes all objects and persons "relevant in the AVP area and reacts to them safely, so that the fundamental absence of collisions with these objects and persons is guaranteed." In the event of an unavoidable accident, the protection of human life must have the highest priority, without weighting personal characteristics.

The legal basis for autonomous driving has already existed since mid-2021, according to which vehicles may participate in road traffic in operating areas defined for this purpose and approved by the authorities. The catalog of requirements is a first step in the direction of autonomous driving; shuttle transports, journeys between two distribution centers and dual mode vehicles - as with the AVP - are to be legally permitted. For the time being, however, this will be subject to the restriction that a natural person will be in charge of the technical supervision.

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