EU: Audi, BMW, others frustrated by hurdles slowing launch of self-driving cars

Frustration is rising over constricting autonomous driving regulations in Europe, where automakers are still waiting for basic levels of the technology to be approved for sale.

Volkswagen Group’s Audi brand was the first to develop “eyes-off” conditional Level 3 autonomous functionality with the A8 flagship sedan that launched in late 2018. However, the system, called Traffic Jam Pilot, has yet to be approved for sale by regulators.

Daimler is nearing the release of a Mercedes-Benz S class that should offer Level 3 autonomy as soon as it hits the market in 2020, according to executives. (Automation technology is categorized on the SAE International spectrum ranging from Level 0 to Level 5.)

BMW in 2021 is due to debut its iNEXT electric crossover which is expected to be loaded with advanced self-driving features. That is, if engineers such as Alejandro Vukotich can make some headway with Brussels.