Hildegard Müller: Autonomous driving law must not be delayed

    Berlin, February 01, 2021

    VDA presents its position – Germany must not jeopardize its lead in autonomous driving – Avoid unilateral data approach

    According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), the German Government is currently jeopardizing Germany’s potential lead in autonomous driving. “We are technologically prepared to be the world market leader in this field as well. It could bring huge benefits for customers, the industry and the country. This opportunity will be lost if the law on autonomous driving is delayed and can no longer be passed in this parliamentary session,” said VDA president Hildegard Müller.

    In the VDA’s view, the discussion proposal from the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJV) for regulating mobility data – supplementing Article 1 amending the Road Traffic Act (StVG) – goes far beyond the goal of the Government’s draft. Hildegard Müller stated, “The BMJV’s discussion proposal conflicts with other international and national regulations and regulation projects on data and mobility data. However, any unilateral approach that would lead to differing regulation systems should definitely be avoided.” The current BMJV discussion proposal impinged on the fundamental discussion of access to vehicle data and contradicted the present discussion and positioning of the national data room for mobility set up by the German Government and the European GAIA X initiative, the VDA president underscored.

    Hildegard Müller added that the Federal Ministry of Transport had called on the VDA to present its opinion of the draft, which had been submitted within the allotted timeframe (click here). From the association’s viewpoint, the draft still needs some amendments and supplements so that this complex and extensive regulation project satisfies all the requirements. For example, unlike vehicles without an autonomous driving function, these motor vehicles would be subject to a full inspection every 90 days pursuant to the available repair and maintenance information. There would also be general inspections at very short intervals – every six months. Until now, the first general inspection for newly registered passenger cars has normally become due after 36 months, followed by one every 24 months. In the VDA’s view, there are no technical reasons that necessitate such reduced periods. Furthermore, this would create extra work, especially that associated with private self-parking vehicles.

    As the coordination between the ministries and also the legal review have not yet been completed, the draft texts of the law and the ordinance can still be altered. The VDA appeals to the ministries involved to make the amendments swiftly.

    “If the law is not passed before the German national election, we will lose at least 18 months, and our technical lead. Data protection is an important topic for us, we take it seriously, and we put it into practice. But all issues of holding data that go beyond the General Data Protection Regulation would in any case have to be clarified at European level,” Hildegard Müller said.