France to allow tests with driverless cars in 2019
On Monday France’s Minister of Economics, Bruno Le Maire, has announced that tests with autonomous cars of level 5, without a driver, will be possible on the whole French territory from 2019 on. Today some fifty projects testing self-driving cars are already going on in France, but only on limited trajectories on French roads, always requiring a human driver on board.
The new measures are part of the general plan for the development and transformation of enterprises ‘Pacte’ (Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises).
The text will outline the judicial responsibilities in case of an accident with a car in autonomous driving mode. It will be the one holding the authorization for the test who’s responsible. When voted by the parliament before the end of 2018, the new law can be active in 2019.
In October 2017 French government appointed former Minister of Transport, Anne-Marie Idrac, as the high responsible for the national strategy on autonomous vehicles. The government’s objective is to support development to converse the French automotive ecosystem and safeguard its competitiveness.
“Goal is to make a framework to allow highly automated private cars, public transport vehicles and goods vehicles to circulate in France”, Idrac says. Vehicles of levels 3 and 4 of autonomous driving will be able to do that unlimited, level 5 vehicles without drivers only in test circumstances for the time being.
For the commercialization of level 3 and 4 cars a permanent legislative framework has to be put up adapting the road code, homologation standards and technical safety specifications like preventing the cars being taken over remotely, for instance. France calls upon the EU to go forward on this legislative terrain collectively.