Self-driving vehicles have quickly become a growing trend across the globe, and while the technology brings a new level of convenience to everyday living, it comes with an equal measure of risk. To balance the industry's development with the safety of the public, the Executive Yuan approved a bill on May 17, 2018 governing innovative experimentation with self-driving vehicles. After three readings in the Legislature, the bill was then passed into law on November 30, 2018. In addition to encouraging domestic industries to engage in pioneering applications of autonomous vehicles, the new legislation will create a safe and friendly regulatory environment for innovative development.
■ Features of the law
The self-driving vehicles law, similar to the regulatory sandbox for financial technology recently introduced in Taiwan, eases regulations to encourage corporations, universities and research institutions to develop and create applications for autonomous vehicles. In doing so it promotes advances in industrial technology and innovative services.
■ Experimentation period
For self-driving car testing, the period for innovative experimentation is set to one year but may be extended another year if necessary. The maximum period is limited to four years.
■ Safety controls
Those applying to conduct innovative testing with self-driving vehicles must present such documentation as insurance plans and a mechanism for managing risk, as well as display a testing notice either at the testbed or on the vehicle itself. Should a safety incident occur, the developer must temporarily halt experimentation and notify the regulator promptly of the cause of failure and the corrective actions to be taken.
■ Suspended regulations, simpler administrative procedures
To provide a friendly regulatory environment, any penalties that would ordinarily apply under specific laws, regulations and administrative rules will be suspended during the experimentation period. A single-window contact will also be created to streamline application procedures for self-driving car developers.