Deep dive into the wayward Autopilot type approval

There are recent reports that Tesla’s “Autopilot” isn’t type-approved in Europe, and therefore absent in the first batch fresh off the boat in Belgium. In the EU and in many countries throughout the world, a valid type-approval is essential for the legal operation of a vehicle. The reports of Tesla’s AWOL Autopilot not only caused an uproar on Twitter. The allegedly absent approval also is the source of intensive puzzlement in the auto industry, for one simple reason: There is no EU type approval (yet) covering self-driving technology.

For this article, I could simply draw on my long and occasionally painful experience with the subject matter. It could be outdated, especially when it comes to a both fluid and impenetrable set of EU rules. I therefore called upon a number of homologation experts in the EU, and elsewhere. Not wanting to discuss another OEM, the sources have quested anonymity, and it has been granted.

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