Ministry of Transport and Communications seeks to spread autonomous cars in Lithuania

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2018 01 12

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Flexible regulation for the use of autonomous cars has been approved at the order of the Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis. It will be applied to the manufacturers, owners, operators and drivers of autonomous cars who will be testing technologies of autonomous cars and will be participating in public traffic. It is anticipated to draw the attention of manufacturers of autonomous cars and encourage the testing of these innovative vehicles on the roads of Lithuania.

“The interest of manufactures of autonomous cars could naturally encourage the establishment of representative offices and enterprises of these manufacturers in our country. This would determine the development of this field and possibly the creation of new jobs. In the long-term perspective, it is expected that autonomous cars will improve the traffic safety situation on the roads of the country as drivers’ mistakes due to the human factor will be eliminated. As a result, the number of traffic accidents and traffic participants injured or killed during them will decrease,” the Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis pointed out.

According to the Minister, the legal act only lays out the basic conditions as the establishment of excess requirements could have a negative impact on the spread of autonomous cars in Lithuania. It is important that a manufacturer would ensure the safety of a manufactured autonomous car so that it would not endanger other traffic participants and would be able to perform safe test drives in public traffic.

The order has been prepared for the implementation of the Amendment to the Law on Road Traffic Safety approved on 7 December of last year, which legalised autonomous cars in Lithuania.

The document establishes that autonomous cars participating in public traffic, their operators and drivers shall comply with the regulations of the aforementioned law and the Road Traffic Rules, it also lays out other conditions necessary for an autonomous car to be able to participate in public traffic.