Spanish DGT establishes framework for testing automated vehicles on public roads

Spanish DGT has published the legal framework to allow testing of automated vehicles on public roads in Spain. This framework details the requirements needed to conduct the tests, and a classification of vehicles depending on their level of automation. Authorization for testing can be requested by manufacturers of autonomous vehicles, official laboratories, suppliers of autonomous driving technologies, universities and consortia involved in research projects.

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Spanish DGT (Traffic General Department) has published the legal framework to allow testing of automated vehicles on public roads in Spain. This framework details the requirements needed to conduct the tests, and a classification of vehicles depending on their level of automation.

Up to now, the Spanish traffic regulation included the possibility of testing and performing research studies on public roads with non-automated vehicles. With the new framework, automated vehicles can also be tested. With this measure, DGT aims to encourage universities, companies and research centres to test autonomous vehicles in Spain, and to support autonomous driving research as a means to improve traffic safety and efficiency.

According to the published framework, an autonomous vehicle is a vehicle with the capacity of driving without the active control or supervision of a driver. Such autonomous technology can be activated or deactivated temporarily or permanently.

Authorization for testing and trials can be requested by manufacturers of autonomous vehicles, official laboratories, suppliers of autonomous driving technologies, universities and consortia involved in research projects. The framework also specifies the requirements that need to be satisfied to obtain the corresponding authorization, including the requirements of the applicant, the driver, the vehicle, and the owner of the vehicle. The scope of the authorization is national, and establishes the sections of urban and interurban roads by which the automated vehicle is authorized to perform the tests. Authorizations will be granted for a period of maximum of 2 years, but the can be renewed.


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