Belgium is one of the rare European countries to authorise tests for driverless cars on its public roads.
Belgian consumers have a bright outlook on the safety of autonomous vehicles, though concerns remain. Significantly fewer people in the 2018 study feel that autonomous cars will not be safe, with half (50 %) of Belgian consumers holding this view — a dramatic decrease from 2017, when 69 % felt autonomous vehicles would not be safe.
Pilot projects for testing totally driverless cars on Belgium’s roads are technically already authorised, but the Federal Minister of Mobility will have to give the go-ahead to the respective car manufacturers and technology companies.
It will thus be possible to see a car circulating without a driver, monitored from a distance by an operator, on a public road.
In 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers had adopted a good-practices code regulating experiments with self-driving vehicleson Belgian roads. However, such vehicles still needed to have a driver or operator on board.
A royal decree published in April in Belgium’s royal gazette, Le Moniteur, now allows completely driverless vehicles to be tested on public roads for a limited duration, following authorisation by the Minister of Mobility and the managers of the country’s roads.