We brought to you a report about HERE powered self-driving Mercedes S 500 being showcased to style journal Monocle. In case you still think it is a piece of fantasy then think again as a recent amendment to the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic has made it possible for drivers to take their hands off the wheel of self-driving cars.
A little-noticed amendment to the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic agreed last month would let drivers take their hands off the wheel of self-driving cars. It was pushed by Germany, Italy and France, whose high-end carmakers believe they are ready to zoom past American tech pioneers and bring the first “autonomous vehicles” to market.
“Today I am only allowed to take my hands off the wheel to a limited extent. Thankfully the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic has been changed,” said Thomas Weber, head of Group research at Daimler and head of development at Mercedes-Benz.
And, HERE powered Merc cars may be one of the first autonomous cars. These cars may make use of HERE’s super-precision maps a lot,
Mercedes has developed technology which can scan the road ahead and behind with cameras and radar, and prompt a vehicle to pull out and overtake a large truck without a driver having to touch the steering wheel.
It now wants to introduce more automated driving features into its cars, such as automated parking, automatic stop-and-go driving in traffic and motorway driving functions. Eventually, it hopes to have cars with elaborate self-driving software that can be easily updated – like an iPhone – to take advantage of new technical capabilities or changes in the law.
“We have developed a car that can drive autonomously. Now the legal framework needs to follow suit,” a Daimler spokeswoman said.
As many as 72 countries may be party to this amendment finally paving way to large-scale self-driving cars deployment in future.
Provided the amendment clears all bureaucratic hurdles, all 72 countries that are party to the convention would have to work the new rules into their laws. The convention covers European countries, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Russia, although not the United States, Japan or China.