Germany proposes 'black boxes' on cars with autopilot

News by Robert Abel

Self-driving cars in Germany may soon be required to carry a black box to help determine fault.

German lawmakers are proposing legislation that will require auto manufacturers to equip autonomous vehicles capable of using autopilot functions, with airplane-style black boxes to help determine fault in the event of an accident.

The black box will record when the autopilot system is active, when the driver is in control, and when the system requested the driver to take control of the vehicle, according to a Reuters report.

Under Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt's proposal, drivers won't be required to concentrate on traffic or steering but must remain seated at the wheel to intervene in case of an emergency, the report said.

Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a preliminary evaluation into the performance of Tesla's Autopilot function after the first known motorist was killed while the service was activated, according to a June 30 Tesla blog post. 

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