Self-driving taxis could happen in Germany by 2030

Self-driving taxis could happen in Germany by 2030

In Munich, where the IAA motor show is being held, an interactive street survey elicits an overwhelming 'yes' when asking passersby if they would take a self-driving taxi from the station to the Oktoberfest beer festival.

But experts said the long-promised future of self-driving cars remains some way off.

And we are more inclined to say that it will happen by 2030, Mr Aufrere said.

The top of the list, German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz has received worldwide approval for its 'level three' self-driving system, according to United Nations standards.

The hands-free level three enables autonomous driving in certain conditions, such as heavy traffic or motorway speeds, up to 60 kilometres per hour. The driver can take their eyes off the road, but must be ready to intervene if necessary.

The S-Class, which has a six-figure price tag, is available with the system as an option.

In 2021, Honda won a world-first approval to sell Level 3 self-driving cars in Japan.

But the vast majority of current commercially available vehicles come equipped with 'level two' partial automation at best.

The driver, who remains alert at all times, is included in Tesla's well-known autopilot and offers features like adaptive cruise control or automated parking.

The Munich survey's driverless 'robotaxis' remain a futuristic dream in most urban areas, with Europe trailing behind the United States and China in exploring such services in the real world.

These 'level four' vehicles, like the robot cabs from Waymo or Cruise used in San Francisco, can operate without human intervention within designated areas.

The uneven deployment in Europe wasn't down to regulations or technological challenges, but rather a matter of funding that was harder to come by on the continent, Perillat said.

Autonomous vehicles are making progress year after year, Perillat said at the IAA.

Professor Lutz Eckstein, a professor at the RWTH Aachen University, agreed, saying'significant progress' was on the horizon.

So-called Level 2+ systems that also monitor the driver's attention and fatigue are expected to become more widespread, he said, forecasting that the number of Level 3 systems on the market would also increase.

CTO Aufrere, who chairs Forvia's board of directors, confirmed.