The US automobile manufacturer Tesla uses a legal loophole in Germany's registration system with its "autopilot".

The Dutch registration authority RDW is responsible for approving the assistance system, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) announced at the request of WELT AM SONNTAG.

The RDW is responsible for the overall vehicle approval valid in the EU for Tesla.

According to KBA, this responsibility does not apply to software updates that Tesla applies to customers' cars.

"The KBA is not responsible for vehicles that are already on the road, but rather the federal states," writes the authority from Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer's division.

The minister wants to enable autonomous driving in Germany by law by 2022.


The effects of the Tesla updates cannot be checked, however, because even independent testing organizations are not prepared for them.

The type of sensors for a self-driving car is not even prescribed, said Rico Barth, head of the competence area networked and automated driving at TÜV Rheinland.

"Instead, test scenarios are specified that a vehicle must pass - in virtual environments as well as on test sites and in real traffic." These scenarios are still being defined by European committees and are currently being tested by the testing organizations.

"We won't really be able to make a statement about this until 2021."

From January 22, 2021, vehicles can be approved in the EU on the basis of a new rule of the UN Economic Commission UNECE for autonomous driving.

"Autonomous lane changes are not included in this at the moment," says the KBA.

Tesla's new software is obviously capable of such maneuvers, as videos from users in the USA show.

The company left unanswered a request as to whether and when the program will be available in Europe.