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Driverless cars given green light in Zurich

Zurich – The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (UVEK) has granted communications provider Swisscom a permit to test driverless cars in Zurich.

The exception permit is necessary, according to the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO), because cars must otherwise be driven with two hands on the steering wheel. Swisscom can now start its pilot project, which is expected to gather valuable insights into driverless cars. FEDRO believes that autonomous vehicles could go into serial production in the coming years, opening up the question of authorisation.

Among the conditions of the permit are that the test must be carried out on a given stretch of road. In addition, two trained drivers must be in the car during each test drive, in order to intervene if something goes wrong. The car is also equipped with an emergency stop switch. The Technical University of Belin developed the driverless car that will be used in the tests. The exception permit is valid from now until the end of 2015.

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