Tesla Autopilot: “hands-free” Driving Authorized In Europe This Summer
Jun 23,2022 | Chloe Lacour
Level 3 autonomous driving, which exempts the driver from keeping his hands on the wheel, will be authorized everywhere in Europe from this summer, subject to conditions.
If you have a Tesla with a Fully Autonomous Driving option, you've probably been hungry for a few years. Indeed, the system is currently only a set of advanced driver assistance tools. You must always keep your hands on the steering wheel and your attention on the road. We are therefore still a long way from cars that can serve as real driverless taxis. However, the current challenge is no longer simply technical.
Certainly, Tesla and other manufacturers still have to make progress to deliver truly autonomous driving, and to ensure that accidents are avoided as much as possible. However, it is above all the legal obstacles that currently prevent Europe from allowing the circulation of vehicles equipped with level 3 and higher autonomous driving systems. For the time being, in fact, only level 2 driver assistance systems are authorized.
Europe authorizes level 3 autonomous driving, the dream of driverless cars is getting closer!
These systems generally describe automatic lane-keeping and the presence of automatic cruise control. Level 3 goes much further since, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) – a group whose mission is to promote economic cooperation and integration between European states – this level implies a total transfer of level 3 autopilot commands, with the resumption of control when the system requests it.
In addition, strict conditions must be met on the sections of the road on which the level 3 device can be activated. However, when all these conditions are met, the driver can completely remove his hands from the steering wheel, since the car takes care of the rest on its own. However, an amendment that will come into force on July 14, 2022, will thus authorize the use of level 3 driving assistance systems from this summer throughout Europe.
However, additional conditions must be met before the system is activated. The speed cannot exceed 60 km/h on the compatible sections of the road. In addition, a physical barrier must separate the two directions of traffic and no pedestrian or cyclist must be detected by the vehicle when the system is activated. Note in passing that recent Tesla cars with the Fully Autonomous Driving option are currently considered vehicles with level 2 autonomy.
We can expect Tesla to allow the upgrade to Level 3 on some models via an OTA update. However, the real first vehicle marketed directly with level 3 autonomy will be a Mercedes S-class sedan which should be released in 2022. The Drive Pilot system of the level 3 vehicle will initially be authorized on just over 13,000 km of expressways and roads. German.