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Should Autonomous Vehicles Be Allowed On Spanish Roads?

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The future of autonomous (self-driving vehicles) will be decided early next by Spain’s government

The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) expects the approval of a royal decree by 2024 that will establish technical requirements for the circulation of vehicles with SAE levels of autonomous driving systems 4 and 5. This would mean the possibility of cars navigating Spanish roads with complete automation!

According to Susana Gómez, Deputy General Director of Vehicles of the DGT, in countries like Germany or France, this level (SAE 4) of autonomous driving systems is already established. She also highlighted that the future royal decree will equate the autonomous driving system with the figure of the driver.

Once published, manufacturers will be able to put vehicles with this training on the market, something that, according to the General Director of ANFAC, José López-Tafall, is already possible thanks to technology.

However, Gómez said she does not believe that SAE level 5 autonomy cars will be seen on Spanish roads anytime soon.

Likewise, both have defended the autonomous car as a safer car, although for López-Tafall “what really works” is replacing old cars with new ones , since the Spanish car fleet has an average age of 14 years.

The introduction of the ZBE discs and Low Emission Zones in January 2024 will result in many older vehicles being taken out of circulation.

“It is essential that Spain advances to become a reference for autonomous and connected vehicles,” said López-Tafall, adding: “It is of no use that manufacturers are capable of having sufficient technology to be able to produce models with the highest levels of automation, if they cannot then circulate on our roads because there is no regulatory framework that enables it.”

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