Last modified on March 23, 2023
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Starting from March 2017, the testing of self-driving cars is allowed on the streets and roads of Estonia. Those vehicles can be either tested on public roads or off-road.
To realize those tests, it shall comply with some requirements:
- Self-driving vehicles classified from SAE 0 to SAE 3 level vehicles according to the classification of the International Society of Automotive Engineers.
- Have a driver who can take control of the car if needed, either located in the vehicle or acting remotely. As the driver is the legal responsible, he/she must have a driving license which allows him/her to drive that type of vehicle.
- Vehicle must follow EU Directive 2007/46 at least in its most important parts
- Realize a trial plan, which shall include the following points:
- General description of the trials
- Technical specifications of the vehicle
- Information of the road area where the trials will be conducted
- Proof of insurance cover for third-party liability
- Description of measures to ensures road safety
- Require a test plate certificate. For its application, manufacturer shall describe how has trained or will train its stewards/safety drivers
It can be obtained a testing permit for six months, with the possibility of extensions if required.
In case of accident, the criminal liability applies only to the driver, without impact on the manufacturer or any legal entity.
In parallel, there is an expert group working on the remaining questions such as responsibilities, insurance, privacy, ethics and other related topics, with the purpose of letting higher SAE level 4 and 5 vehicles drive on the streets.
October 2019, the conclusion reached at discussion at the E-Estonia Council was that although there is already a working legal framework for testing self-driving vehicles on Estonian public roads, it is necessary to wait for algorithmic-liability law to apply it in broader legal landscape.
 Can be considered parts as seat installation, safety windows, break acceleration, door closing-force, emergency lights, reflectors, light installation and use in car traffic, and bus ‘kill switches’, apart from others.
Organisation(s) in Charge
Estonian Road Administration.
Link to Procedure Website
Link to Documents
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