On the way to autonomous driving, there are still open questions about the legal framework. However, the first important foundations have already been laid at both international and national level in the past year.
Germany was the first country to regulate automated driving within a legal framework. The law, which came into force in June 2017, creates the prerequisites for highly and fully automated systems that completely take over vehicle control. However, the driver must remain ready to take over the vehicle. The law therefore does not regulate autonomous driving, in which the driver becomes a pure passenger.
At the international level, several agreements provide the legal framework for national road traffic laws. One of the most important is the Vienna Convention of 1968, which follows the basic idea that every moving vehicle must have a driver.
In March 2016, the agreement was adapted in the sense of autonomous driving: Since then, vehicle systems have been permitted which no longer require permanent human control of the vehicle - for example driver assistance systems or automated driving functions. They must comply with the relevant technical regulations of the United Nations or be oversteerable or switchable by the driver.
Nevertheless, the change creates legal certainty for assistance or automated systems already on the road. It also supports the further development of automated driving systems.
In particular, future topics such as autonomous driving cannot be legally accompanied by standard answers and automated processes. Questions of liability and insurance protection, for example, will play an important role in the testing of new mobility concepts.
One thing is clear: the use of the test field for autonomous driving requires a secure contractual basis. Together with the experienced lawyers of the Caemmerer Lenz law firm, we have drawn up a contract that offers users of the test field a solid legal framework.
Caemmerer Lenz has been one of the top addresses in the legal market in southwest Germany for decades. With around 50 lawyers, auditors and tax consultants, the firm is a strong and reliable partner for companies, municipalities and other organisations - not only in the region, but also internationally. Caemmerer Lenz acts as a competent insider in many sectors: thanks to a high degree of specialisation, very specific requirements can also be met.