Last modified on June 28, 2023

Autonomous Vehicles Code of practice for testing in Belgium

13 February 2020

The present Code regulates the testing of automated vehicles in a real world environment in Belgium. In concrete terms, tests of this nature may take place on condition that the vehicle is used in accordance with the road traffic legislation and providing a test driver is present, or, in certain specific cases, minimally a test operator, who takes responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle.

It is up to the manufacturer or the testing organisation to ensure that innovative technologies for automated or fully automated vehicles are developed and tested thoroughly before being brought onto the market. Much of this development can be done in test laboratories or on dedicated test tracks and proving grounds. However, to ensure that these technologies are capable of ‘safe behaviour’ in the various situations that may present themselves, they will need to be subjected to controlled testing in a ‘real world environment’ also. Thus, the testing of new automated vehicle technologies on public roads or in other public places should be facilitated whilst care must be taken that these tests are designed and conducted in order to minimise potential risk.

This Code of Practice has been published to help manufacturers and/or testing organisations intending to test these technologies in real conditions. This Code of Practice provides clear guidelines and recommendations to maintain safety during this testing phase.

The present Code of Practice does not contain any actual rules of law but has been developed to promote responsible planning and carrying out of tests. Testing organisations shall use this Code in conjunction with detailed knowledge of the statutory, regulatory and technological framework.