Currently reading: Germany likely to be first country to allow hands-off-wheel driving
With models such as the Audi A8 now offering advanced self-driving systems, countries now need the legislation to allow it
Rachel Burgess
1 min read
14 July 2017

Germany is set to become the first country in the world to legally allow level 3 autonomous driving in public cars - the ability to take your hands off the wheel while in motion.

According to Peter Fromm, Audi large car boss - who is responsible for the new A8 which offers numerous self-driving functions - the country is likely to permit such driving on certain roads in 2018.

"We expect that Germany will allow this next year for specific roads such as the A9 from Munich to Nuremberg," he said.

"We will only release the technology in countries who have given us permission to use it."

Fromm added that in a situation where the A8 crosses a country border, the car's system alerts the driver and switches the system off.

Once level 3 autonomy is in play in the A8, the responsibility for the car's actions will lie with Audi, not the user.

Earlier this year, the UK government started tentatively considering the legal ramifications of autonomous driving in its Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill. However, there is no timeline for when it will become a reality in the UK.

Read more about the all-new A8

BMW confirms fully autonomous iNext for 2021


Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review
Audi A8

The Audi A8 is a highly capable and desirable luxury saloon that's very easy to live with, despite its flaws

Join the debate


14 July 2017

Since when has the small matter of legislation ever got in the way of big corporations making a profit. Wakey wakey people if you hadn't noticed already most governments around the word who insidently make up your laws are very easily persuaded by large sums of money coming there way in various forms, this can be in a brown envelope, getting former politicians through the revolving door into a executive position within the company, share options, paying MP's for access to certain influential people, paying former PM's huge fee's just for talking at a conference. Or if money doesn't float their boat then access to children or blackmail after the children can be very persuasive. That legislation already has some bent politicians name on it.

14 July 2017

Instead of autonomous Cars how about a seventh Lane in the middle with Barriers both sides where you can go as fast as you like hands free,with gaps to rejoin when you need to leave the Autobahn...mad? Well of course that's mad,just as mad as letting novices on the Road in powerful Cars on Roads where Traffic could be doing 150/200mph in the right/lefthand lane....!!!

14 July 2017

You would not expect a country like UK with an ancient 70 mph limit and a desire to fill all motorways with speed cameras to allow this tech out into the wild for years if ever. The UK has a blind spot when it comes to good mobility and productivity. Much better to creep around in second gear and be crashing over speed ramps and pot holes.  

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review