However, from 1 September, vehicles equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving will be able to drive on French roads under certain conditions. This is the culmination of a European regulation announced last month.
In July 2021, a decree on the adaptation of traffic rules was published, which allows traffic on the roads of France from September 2022 of “vehicles equipped with delegation of authority systems as soon as they are approved”, in other words, level 3. Autonomous driving has 5 levels, and currently permitted level 2 throughout Europe.
Very limited conditions
Level 3, which received a green light from the European Union on July 14, means that the driver no longer has to constantly keep an eye on the road. This is the car that controls all the driving, but of course there are also precautions. First, the driver must be able to regain control of the vehicle at any time and intervene in less than ten seconds.
And here in the legislation there are restrictions. Level 3 activation is only allowed on the highway, in case of heavy traffic… and the speed cannot exceed 60 km/h. Thus, the opportunity to leave the car alone will remain quite rare! However, it is an important first step towards more advanced autonomous driving.
At the time, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, delegate to the Minister of Transport, explained that with this decree “we are taking another step towards the mobility of the future. France stands out as one of the first countries to adapt its law to autonomous vehicles. Today we give our industrialists and our transport operators the visibility they need to grow and launch tomorrow.”
The fact remains that the number of approved vehicles is extremely limited. In fact, only Mercedes-Benz has received this approval to use the Drive Pilot system in two of its models: the S-Class and EQS. This is an option from €5000.