Ireland might miss out on autonomous car first miles

Ireland, the base of many U.S. technology companies in Europe, might miss attracting the same firms to test autonomous cars on their roads and develop fake cities to run various simulations.

While the government has been welcoming to tech companies in the past and able to change its laws to suit them, it seems to have missed the oncoming revolution in the auto industry.

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It has not shown the same level of enthusiasm to bend the rules as the European giants France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, which have all proposed laws that let autonomous cars drive on public roads.

That’s not even taking into consideration the efforts of the Chinese and U.S. states to make tech and automotive companies feel welcome. Several U.S. states are pushing for full legalization of self-driving without a driver, Michigan being the first to ratify this into law.

Ireland takes a bite of Apple?

The Irish government may be able to work something out with Apple, but that would undoubtedly take some hefty bargaining from the government. We doubt it wants to get into a kerfuffle like that again, after the international protests over the changed tax code.

If it misses the chance to lure some tech firms to test in the country, calls for the government to make it clear what companies and people can and can’t do with autonomous cars on Irish roads.

At the moment, there has been no word as to whether autonomous driving is legal or illegal. We assume the latter, but Ireland was not one of the 72 countries to sign the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic 1968, and its own road traffic laws are muddled when it comes to autonomous driving. But this is a thorny issue being grappled with by governments around the world.

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