Norway Likely To Permit Self-Driving Vehicle Testing Soon

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The government of Norway will likely pass a law sometime in the spring to legalize the testing of self-driving vehicle technologies on the country’s roads, according to recent reports.

According to the country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, the government there is now seeking consultations on the proposed law, with an aim to get the bill passed in early 2017.

A public statement on the matter read: “The objective of the bill is to facilitate the testing of self-driving vehicles on Norwegian roads … within the framework of traffic safety while protecting the integrity of personal information.”

The bit about traffic safety refers to the fact that only “mature” self-driving systems would be approved for public testing. Would Tesla’s system qualify? Would Waymo’s? Presumably. What about Daimler’s? Or Uber’s?

Considering that Teslas sell quite well in Norway, the country will presumably be one of the first places to see fully autonomous Teslas tested in earnest, and in high numbers. As a reminder, all new Teslas coming off the production lines now feature a comprehensive hardware suite that the company says will allow for fully autonomous travel, once associated software has been refined.

Automotive News provides more: “The move to permit testing of self-driving vehicles is also aimed at giving a competitive edge to Norwegian technology companies as the country seeks to diversify away from the offshore petroleum sector, hit by a plunge in global oil prices.”

An interesting point. Though, it doesn’t seem likely that the move will end up having a significant effect one way or another on the country’s local industry.

Image (slightly modified) by JoachimKohlerBremen (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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