Automated driving on the highway
Minister of Transport taps SMS at 130 km/h, the police do not intervene. Read why
Site/Wochit Minister of Transport shows what will soon be possible at the wheel
Site editor Sebastian Viehmann
The autonomous robot car is still a future music. But autonomous driving comes faster than we think. How will driving a car will change? And who is responsible if it still pops? What to expect and what the legal situation is.
While Transport Minister Dobrindt is still guilty in the diesel scandal, a different, much more long-term challenge is almost in the background: automated driving. The digital test field Autobahn is intended to secure the technical management claim of German car manufacturers before giants like Google or Apple also tear this field completely and become German companies. The idea: At least on well-developed motorway routes, the driver should leave the car to the car and be able to deal with other things."My goal is that Germany is the guideline provider for automated and networked vehicles and becomes a leading market", says Dobrindt. The Federal Ministry of Transport puts 100 million euros in funding in the project. But what exactly is it about and what are the advantages and disadvantages? Site explains why German motorways could change radically.
1. What is that "Digital test field Autobahn"?
A section of the A9 motorway has been declared a test track since 2015. The key point is the centimeter-accurate recording of the route as a digital HD card. In addition, there are special marking signs on which the automated cars can orient themselves, as well as radar sensors to record real-time traffic data. There are also camera systems and radar sensors on board the automated cars.
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2. Which does ______________ mean "automated driving" exactly?
The terms autonomous and automated driving are often synonymous, there are important differences. Strictly speaking, there are five levels of autonomous driving:
- Level 0: The driver controls the car completely.
- Level 1: There are assistance systems such as distance control or lane change warning, which only support the driver. This technology is widespread today down to the small car area.
- Level 2: This is the level at which modern vehicles of the upper middle class and upper class are already located. Sub -automated systems can take over certain functions, such as track guidance or partial automatic parking. Models such as the current Mercedes E-Class, Teslas Model S and Model X or the BMW 5 Series are already dominating the level 2. At Tesla, even more functions were temporarily unlocked, but they were put back after a few incidents. For example, the driver has to take his hands on the steering wheel more often, otherwise the "Autopilot" is deactivated.
- Level 3: This is the (high) automated driving, in which the driver must be able to intervene at any time, but may also turn to other things if the system is activated. With a warning time, the driver can be asked to take the lead again. For example, if the route is not designed for automated driving. The first cars should be approved by 2020 at the latest that dominate Level 3. It is initially planned that the systems work up to a speed of 130 km/h.
- Level 4: At the fully automated driving the driver can even intervene if the system fails, but as a rule the car should take over everything.
- Level 5: At the actual autonomous driving is no longer required. You no longer need a steering wheel or other controls. The occupants become passengers that only have to indicate the goal. So no more intervention is possible and you don’t even need a driver’s license. Examples of autonomous cars are the steering wheelless "Google Cars" Or the business game of a road drone from Airbus (see video).
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3. What can I do while my car drives automatically?
Basically everything, As long as you stay wake up behind the steering wheel and can take the wheel again at any time after requesting the car. "We enable the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel during the highly automated journey, for example to surf the Internet or check e-mails", Says Transport Minister Dobrindt. Last but not least, this is intended to reduce the numerous accidents caused by distraction at the wheel.
During a demonstration trip on the A9, Dobrindt showed the system in action. Whether tap SMS, tie tie without looking at the street with the passengers or working with the laptop – Everything that is strictly forbidden in a normal car is legal as soon as the car drives automatically. An ethics committee that consists of 14 scientists and experts (for example the former Federal Constitutional judge Udo di Fabio or the Augsburg Auxiliary Bishop Anton Losinger) also deals with the topic.
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4. Is that legally secured at all?
That is imminent. Bundestag and the Federal Council have decided on automated driving (amendment to the Road Traffic Act) by Minister Dobrindt. The law can thus come into force."The core of the law is the legal equality of human drivers and computers. A takeover of the vehicle control by the driver is only prescribed if the high or fully automated system asks it or if the requirements for intended use of the high or fully automated driving functions are no longer met (z. B. With a burst tire)", Explains the Federal Ministry of Transport.
Cattle man Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt (left) and the Augsburg consecration of Anton Losinger, member of the Ethics Commission on the automated driving, test an automated Audi
5. Who is liable in an accident?
So far, even for modern assistance systems that enable managed driving: the driver is always responsible. But that changes with the new law. Precondition: All cars that master the level 3 must have an accident data memory (black box) on board. So the police know exactly whether the driver steered the car at the time of the crash – or the car itself. Basically, the following should apply:
- If the driver has driven, he must also be liable.
- If the car drove automatically, the car manufacturer is liable.
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And what do the insurance companies think of it? Allianz spokesman Christian Weishuber told Site: "The Reformed Road Traffic Act protects the traffic victim extensively even in the event of accidents in automated driving mode. The protection of the traffic victim is based on three pillars, namely the owner liability from the risk of operating the vehicle, the manufacturer’s liability for product errors and the responsibility remaining with the driver, if it can recognize that the system does not work properly."
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The insurance is not that happy either: "We would have wanted more specific requirements. However, the alliance shares the legislator’s view that, due to the large number of possible traffic situations, it is not possible to make concrete requirements in which period of time the driver must be taken back", so white.
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6. Does the technology also have disadvantages?
This depends on how to face the topic in general. Professional commuters in particular will be welcomed if they can legally check their emails on their way to work. The many accidents due to distraction at the wheel should decrease sharply – just like the number of accidents as a whole. In addition, the system is optional. If you want, you can drive yourself at any time.The downside of the medal is the permanent monitoring of the driver. Data protection and security concerns have to encounter the car manufacturers as well as politics. After all, there have already been cases where Hacker took control of a vehicle from the outside . And in times of toll, new environmental zones and more and more speed limits, more surveillance also means restriction of freedoms.For the German car manufacturers, the whole thing is a chance to continue to be a technology leader in the future. Because not only Tesla challenges the established carmakers: Giants like Google and Apple also research autonomous driving – and would certainly welcome it to get a monopoly position as in many other areas.
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