Germany is thinking about new laws to require car manufacturers equipped with an autopilot function to install a black box to help determine responsibility in the event of an accident.
The move follows the fatal crash of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S car in its Autopilot mode and increased pressure on industry executives and regulators to ensure that automated driving technology can be used safely.
Under the proposed laws from Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, drivers will not have to pay attention to traffic or concentrate on steering, but must remain seated at the wheel so they can intervene in the event of an emergency. Although if you are not concentrating on the road it is hard to see how you can suddenly grab a steering wheel.
Manufacturers will also be required to install a black box that records when the autopilot system was active, when the driver drove and when the system requested that the driver take over, according to the proposals.
The draft is due to be sent to other ministries for approval this summer, a transport ministry spokesman said.