Level 3 autonomous driving authorized in France from September 1

From September 1, vehicles equipped with level 3 autonomous driving will be able to travel on the roads in France, under certain conditions, however. This is the culmination of a European regulation announced last month.

A decree adapting the highway code was published in July 2021 which allows the circulation on French roads, from September 2022, of “ vehicles equipped with driving delegation systems as soon as they are approved “, in other words level 3. Autonomous driving includes 5 levels, and currently the authorized level is 2 throughout Europe.

Very limited conditions

Level 3, which received the green light from the European Union on July 14, means that the driver no longer has to keep his eyes on the road at all times. It’s the car that handles all of the driving, but of course there are safeguards. First, the driver must be able to regain control of the vehicle at any time and intervene in less than ten seconds.

And then the legislation contains limits. The activation of level 3 is only authorized on the highway, in the event of heavy traffic… and the speed cannot exceed 60 km/h. The opportunities to let the car drive alone will therefore remain quite rare! However, it is an important first step towards more advanced autonomous driving.

At the time, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Minister Delegate in charge 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 manufacturers and our transport operators the visibility they need to develop them – and tomorrow, keep them rolling. “.

The fact remains that the number of approved vehicles is extremely limited. In fact, only Mercedes-Benz has obtained this authorization for the Drive Pilot system present in two of its models: the S-Class and the EQS. This is an option from €5,000.

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