File change allowed: Computer-controlled cars will soon be able to drive 130 km

File change allowed
Computer-controlled cars will soon be able to drive 130 units

Even though it’s still just an idea for many, in some places autonomous cars are already on the way – like robot taxis in the USA. A forum within the UN Economic Commission has now decided that computer-controlled cars will be allowed to drive much faster in the future than before.

Computer-controlled cars will soon be able to travel at higher speeds than before, for example on motorways. This was decided by the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission (UNECE) in Geneva. The top speed for autonomous driving in certain traffic situations is increased from 60 to 130 kilometers per hour. File changes are also allowed.

The decision was underway in early June when a working group gave the green light. The rule could take effect in January next year, UNECE said. According to them, the EU has already announced implementation. National regulations must be adapted for this. More than 50 countries around the world are part of the agreement, including EU countries. The United States, China and others regulate autonomous driving according to their own standards.

Until now, automated driving in Germany has been limited to certain traffic situations on the Autobahn, such as traffic jams. In critical situations such as tunnels or when there is a risk of black ice, which cars automatically detect with the help of cameras and sensors, drivers must be alerted and autonomous driving must be interrupted. Mercedes is the first German manufacturer to offer a vehicle with a corresponding on-board computer. In the United States, states such as California and Arizona also allow autonomous vehicles to drive on public roads, such as commercial robotic taxi services.

In order for Germany to play a pioneering role in robot cars, the Bundesrat recently approved the government’s operating and licensing rules.

In Germany, Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to start with a car that can drive independently for periods up to a speed of 60 kilometers per hour – and which is also responsible for this time instead of the driver. According to the usual classification, this is level 3 for autonomous driving, while driving assistants, where the human driver is still responsible, still fall below level 2.

The adjustment of the UN rules means that a level 3 system for speeds over 60 kilometers per hour can be offered internationally, as a spokesman for Mercedes explained in early June. However, national road traffic laws must also allow the operation of a similar system, which in Germany is finally certified by the Federal Motor Vehicle Office (KBA).

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