France adapts its traffic law to autonomous vehicles

Following the publication of a national strategy for the development of autonomous vehicles in 2018, France has published a decree adopting the provisions of the Highway Code and the Transport Code to allow from September 2022, on predefined routes or zones, vehicles equipped with delegated driving systems and automated road transport systems.

Until now the highway code only considered cases where the vehicle was driven by a person. From now on, it also provides for the possibility of an automated driving system, controlling the movement of the vehicle. The framework adapts the criminal liability regime to this unprecedented situation to allow the drivers to release their liability when the automated driving system operates in accordance with its conditions of use.

The publication of this decree, which will make possible the circulation of automated road transport systems on predefined routes or zones from September 2022 in France, is a major step forward for the entire ecosystem. The French Ministry of Interior has declared that “the substantial evidence of the safety of these systems, established prior to their commissioning, is at the heart of the authorisation process. It is carried out on the basis of several safety files, verified by approved qualified organisations.”

Road traffic rules and related liability regimes are currently a national competence, so each Member state is responsible for their applicability. CLEPA believes that the rapid adaptation of these frameworks is essential to facilitate the implementation of connected and automated technologies all over the EU.

Source: Ministère de l’Intérieur de la France


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