Germany aims to become ‘first country in world’ to have driverless cars on streets

In a meeting Tuesday with car bosses, Angela Merkel agreed that Germany should take on a “pioneering role” in the development of self-driving cars. Critics said the meeting did too little to address the current crisis.

The meeting ended with agreement that Germany should take a “leading role in autonomous driving”.

A law, which aims to make Germany “the first country in the world to permit driverless vehicles in regular operation as well as in the entire country” is now set to be drafted.

Although there was little in the way of concrete resolutions made at the meeting, it was significant that the government did not agree to a buyer’s premium on the purchase of new petrol-fuelled cars.

While car companies and trade unions had backed the idea of a grant for purchasing a new combustion-fuelled cars, the Green party complained that the government would be financing the further destruction of the environment.