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Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog

January 27, 2015

The Autobahn Becomes the Autonomous-bahn

For car enthusiasts the Autobahn, Germany’s highway system, is synonymous with high-speed driving. Drivers can daydream about the miles and miles (or kilometers, to be more exact) of unrestricted driving pleasure. It doesn’t take long on the Autobahn to see sports cars, or even station wagons (known as “kombi” in Germany), fly by you in the far left lane. Speed limit signs are electronic so the restrictions can be taken off in appropriate traffic conditions. Driving from point A to point B can be a fun experiment in testing the limits of your car.
 
Well, now the German traffic ministry is beginning an experiment in making the Autobahn an autonomous-bahn. The ministry recently announced that a section of the A9 Autobahn between Berlin and Munich will be outfitted with equipment to allow for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-road communications. German auto manufacturers for years have been testing their autonomous vehicles on tracks – even race tracks – with vehicles capable of autonomously driving at speeds close to 150 mph. Soon they will be able to test these vehicles on the Autobahn itself. Germany is taking this step to try to achieve “digital sovereignty.” You can read more about the experiment here.
 
Closer to home, several states are undertaking efforts to open roads to autonomous vehicle testing and driving. Those states have enacted legislation and regulations to allow for such testing. More are likely on the way. Click here for our earlier post on this topic.
 
The automotive attorneys at Warner Norcross & Judd are staying on top of these laws and regulations and will provide updates to keep you Ahead of the Curve. Stay tuned.

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