Cars ready for September?

Cars ready for September?

Self-driving is coming to France in September! Eventually, it will be legal… But the builders probably won’t be ready.

In line with the European decision, France recently decided to allow 100% self-driving cars on its roads. In practice, new articles have been included in the Highway Code. It states that autonomous vehicles can travel on an “authorized route” and less than 60 km / h, without requiring the driver’s attention. Obviously, touchless driving is coming soon! But when the measure goes into effect in September 2022, will you encounter “drivers” who haven’t driven their self-driving cars at all since the start of the school year? In reality, probably not. Details.

The Highway Code authorizes free driving

The French text authorizes, in plain language, 3rd level of independent driving. The latter provides that the car can take full control of driving, and that the driver cannot keep his mind on the road. So you can watch movies, answer text messages, play cards with passengers, take a nap, etc. But this type of traffic can only be done on authorized routes (restricted to pedestrians, bicycles, without a license, etc.), and only up to 60 km / h.

Is it easy to achieve, this level 3, knowing that almost the entire market is now capable of level 2? Well no. Indeed, being able to delegate full driving responsibility to vehicle systems is an important step. And besides, the builders would find themselves responsible in the event of an accident or even a violation. As a result, they are rare who, in Europe, have indulged. Rare, and even unique: Only Mercedes was given a marriage for level 3, in Germany. Top competitors (Tesla, Mercedes, Audi, etc.) are working on it, but they are not there yet.

Mercedes will not be ready in September

But since Mercedes is already working on level 3 autonomous driving in Germany, one might think that allowing it in France would be a matter ofsmall update of the system to overcome certain firewalls. This is not the case.

Indeed, Mercedes told us that deploying level 3 autonomous driving was not it’s not an easy thing, and that the system used in Germany was not universal. In order for you to drive in complete safety, the Mercedes system requires a complete and specific map, which it has 3D scan of all roads that cars will take in autonomous mode. Once this work is done (and obviously it takes time), then it is important get married while driving in France. Then upgrade to a few compatible cars, including the rare EQS and Mercedes S-Class.

In short, there is no question of driving “hands-free” from September 2022 in France. But Mercedes have told us that they want to deploy the system as soon as possible, and if possible, by the end of the year. It will continue.

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