Tesla Might Soon Gain Approval For Full Self-Driving In Germany


The Tesla Model S and Model X, as well as the upcoming Model 3, all come equipped with full self-driving hardware, which will require a fee to unlock upon regulatory approval.

Last week in Germany, a vote was cast to allow fully autonomous vehicles on public roads, and it passed.

The legislation reads as follows (translated from German):

“During vehicle driving, the driver may turn away from traffic and vehicle control by means of highly automated or fully automated driving function… [but must] immediately [assume control] if he recognizes that the conditions for the intended use of the highly or fully automated driving functions no longer exist… even if he does not control the vehicle in the context of the intended use of this function.”

Tesla Model 3

The upcoming Tesla Model 3 will be, perhaps, the most inexpensive vehicle available to date with fully autonomous driving capability.

The Social Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Party agreed to change existing law, to allow for the vehicles of the future.

This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, since Germany is already considered a frontrunner for autonomous vehicle adoption. Before this new law came to be, the country already allowed self-driving vehicles on certain roads. According to the Institute for the German Economy, the country already owns 58 percent of autonomous driving patents.

The law accounts for the balance between driver intervention and responsibility, and software-controlled mobility. It is the driver’s responsibility to be ready to assume control, and to be able to shut off the system at any time. Vehicles must have a “black box” to record driving information, for use in determining fault if an accident occurs.

Preliminary legislation was presented to governing bodies in February, however, there was much argument regarding specifics of wording related to “highly automated” and “fully autonomous.” Also, determining driver fault was a subject that caused much concern. For now, the wording is such that the car owner must accept all responsibility for his/her vehicle.

Later, specific regulations will be drafted, which will attempt to make situational details more clear. Germany, like other countries, is still working toward a goal of 2020 or later, for the mass adoption of self-driving, but this legislative action and the rules surrounding it, will help to move forward with secondary steps.

Tesla plans to have fully autonomous cars on the road and ready to be initiated by the middle of this year. Currently, all new Tesla vehicles already possess the necessary hardware, but the software is still in the final stages of development, and Tesla must wait for regulatory approval. If Germany’s plan continues to surge forward, once it goes before the Federal Council, it may be the first place that Tesla can unlock the full potential of its vehicles.

Source: Teslarati

Category: Tesla

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15 responses to "Tesla Might Soon Gain Approval For Full Self-Driving In Germany"
  1. Michael Will says:

    Lol, yeah looks that way at first glance but think about it, the germans dont want to lose to tesla and so they are allowing this as one of the first countries, but they dont exclude tesla. Now while Hong Kong does not even allow the current AP driver assist to teslas customers and it has to be turned off there, germany will be one of the first places where tesla customers will be allowed to have fully autonomous driving enabled. And I have no doubt that tesla is the first to have it on the road, in Germany, hence the title makes sense.

    1. FrankfurterBub says:

      Sorry to say but your statement makes little to no sense at all..

  2. Bacardi says:

    CORRECTION: “The Tesla Model S and Model X, as well as the upcoming Model 3, all come equipped with full self-driving hardware, which will require a fee to unlock upon regulatory approval.”
    Shortly after the M3 Reveal part II, you could purchase a S/X with full autonomous during delivery, yet it’s not activated…You can not pay the pre-delivery fee and pay a more expensive post-delivery fee at a later time…Yet it won’t work until Tesla activates it…

  3. DTM says:

    Optimistic from Germany… Just three days ago a Tesla on autopilot collided with a truck in The Netherlands on the A1 near Bathmen.

    No coverage from InsideEV’s on this one

    1. notting says:

      A German website which only contains news about Tesla(!) wrote an article some months ago where they explained why the won’t mention ever accident involving a Tesla car.

      Was that accident you mentioned really that special?!


      1. DTM says:

        Define ‘special’ notting… There is a lot of content on this website that isn’t particularly special.

        On the German Autobahn cars drive with speeds exceeding 200 km/h. Quite often I can tell. It will be defenitely a good test case for Autopilot software

    2. Martin Winlow says:

      “According to the Tesla driver, the truck swerved into his lane so recklessly that the collision would have happened whether or not autopilot was on.”

      Just bear in mind that if both truck *and* car were fully autonomous, the car would have moved out of the way simultaneously to avoid a collision as they would both be talking to each other. In fact, the truck would not have needed to swerve in the first place as the reason it did so (in this case) would also have been avoided were *all* vehicles autonomous. In the future, your vehicle will not be permitted to use certain roads unless it is fully autonomous.

  4. notting says:

    Thank you for writing down my thoughts concerning this 🙂


  5. Heartless_Conservative says:

    An article on Green Car Reports said Navigant rated the leaders in autonomous automotive and Tesla didn’t even make its top 10 (I know, right?), partly because of lack of LIDAR…
    (Navigant had a lot of criteria valuing track records and longevity in automotive industry)

    My questions: Is it true? And if Tesla feel like they don’t need or want LIDAR, why not?
    Anybody know?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Why is Tesla sticking to fixed-direction radar instead of switching to scanning lidar? I don’t claim to have all the facts, but IMHO there seem to be two reasons, or at least two primary motives:

      1. Cost. Radar is less expensive than lidar, and fixed scanners are cheaper (and more trouble-free) than rotating ones.

      2. Placement and style. Tesla can add small fixed-direction radar scanners at various points on the car without changing the body style. Scanning lidar requires something sizable up on or above the roof. (Additionally, something big up there would increase the drag and reduce the range of the car, which for Tesla is highly important.)

      I’ve sharply criticized Tesla in the past for sticking to fixed-direction radar rather than scanning lidar, and certainly my concerns seem to be borne out with one of Tesla’s video demos which show a surprisingly high number of non-existent obstacles detected to the sides (where the car relies on cameras instead of radar). Those are all false positives since none were actually in the vehicle’s path.

      On the other hand, Tesla has shown an astonishing ability to pull a lot more data out of a radar return than I thought they could. So perhaps this will be adequate if Tesla adds radar scanners to the sides and rear of the vehicles, to spread coverage to 180°.

      1. Heartless_Conservative says:

        thank you !

    2. Cavaron says:

      LIDAR “sees” it’s surrounding with optical reflected laser pulses. Rain, fog, dust clouds and so on will block optical measurements.

      Tesla relys on radio waves (radar) and sound waves (sonic sensors), because they can penetrate things like drops of water, snowflakes, dust clouds and so on.

      1. Heartless_Conservative says:

        thanks !

  6. Terawatt says:

    Tesla plans to have fully autonomous cars on the road in two and a half months? Yeah right. The cars are barely able to drive correctly on highways with marked lanes, no intersections, no pedestrians, no traffic lights, no roundabouts, and so on, and I’m supposed to believe the tech is ready to send the car on its own to pick up the kids from school?

    Fully autonomous means FULLY. Nobody to babysit the car monitoring its every move. The car tackling road works, redirections, traffic directions by police, drunken pedestrians on Saturday night and so on. There’s no way Tesla’s autopilot is ready for this already. Not even close.

    1. Craig says:

      I’ll believe autonomous car technology is really here when someone can demonstrate such a car navigating a crowded drop-off location 3-lanes-deep at an airport. Not only do you have to watch for vehicles you have to be aware of the pedestrians all around them doing what people do when getting stuff out of a car and to the curb at an airport. But the best part will be seeing how the autonomous vehicle catches the eye of the other drivers to be sure it’s safe to proceed.

      (This is where the makers of such cars insist on special infrastructure to replace what exists in order to make their cars feasible – eventually demanding that every road and parking lot is so fitted.)

      Or take a less extreme but very common situation – pulling out of a parking spot in a tight parking lot crowded with people – say, a Trader Joe’s (whose lots are notoriously crowded at any time) at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Eve. In the US such lots are often configured so that you must park forward and depart driving in reverse, so the autonomous car again must reverse while not only watching for other cars reversing into the same space but also pedestrians coming from all directions, often between cars and into the open at the last second. Once again, hand signals from one driver to the other are needed to determine which car backs up first.

      Yes, solvable if all cars had the same technology and talked to each other wirelessly. But no cars do that now.

      These are but two examples. Construction zones with ad hoc signage (for example – left turn lane blocked and signage is ambiguous whether you can still turn left or not). Intersections where police are directing traffic. Navigating around accident scenes. Driving by situations where lots of cars are pulled over to gap at wildlife. Damaged roads with ad hoc signs indicating to avoid the damage. Industrial areas where trains are still allowed onto the street to deliver freight cars to industries. School bus stops in rural areas (you’d think this would be relatively solvable given that such busses are usually well marked and have flashing lights – unless you live in an area where they are common and see the variety in how they are used). Narrow roads with cars parked on both sides of the street and only one car can get through at a time. Parking lots where lines markings are barely visible or not at all. Shopping mall “roads” which mostly follow normal road marking practices but in which most drivers don’t drive like they do on normal roads.

      Autopilots work because they solve the 95% problem and they have attentive, highly trained and skilled pilots for the other 5% including emergency situations. In addition, should an emergency arise while flying the pilot has many seconds in which to respond. No one would imagine an autopilot for taxiing on the ground at a busy major airport – too much going on, too many possible problems coming from too many possible directions, too much has to be scene visually by the pilot in order to get to/from the gate.

      Autodrive won’t work because the problem is much harder than autopilot. 1) Driver’s aren’t attentive when auto-drive is on, they aren’t highly trained or skilled, 2) In a car you don’t have 5-30 seconds to react to an emergency, you have a split second – by the time the autonomous software warns you it’s probably too late, 3) while 95% of driving situations can be automated the other 5% are like taxiing in a complex situation near gates at a busy airport – and there is no solution now for those.