Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

The Knesset plenum approved on Tuesday in the second and third readings a bill to amend the Traffic Ordinance and enable the conducting of experiments in the operation of autonomous vehicles on Israeli roads, including for the purpose of transporting paid passengers.

The bill stipulates that operators of these vehicles will be required to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Transportation and includes adjustments to the Traffic Ordinance, regulating the licensing of the autonomous vehicle, provisions regarding operating permits, car insurance, supervisory powers, and establishing an advisory committee that will include representatives from relevant bodies.


The explanatory memorandum explains that “the State of Israel is at the forefront of the development of technologies in the field of autonomous vehicles, and today there are several companies, both Israeli and foreign, conducting experiments in independent vehicle travel.”

This bill is “intended to regulate the transition from the experimental stage in which a safety driver sits, to the experimental journey in an independent vehicle without a driver at all, and even with passenger transport, and for commercial purposes.”

The Knesset’s Economic Affairs Committee discussed in December legislation on autonomous vehicles, with the first phase enabling the operation of 400 autonomous taxis.

Autonomous vehicles are an engine of economic growth and there are 640 startups in Israel working in this field. Autonomous vehicles are supposed to lead to zero road accidents, reducing emissions and easing the congestion on the roads.

In the coming decade, such vehicles will serve mainly for public transportation, and less as private vehicles.

At present, more than 40 vehicles of this kind are driving on the roads in Israel, and additional companies are in the midst of examination, testing and approval processes.


Previous articleAgunot: Follow These Instructions
Next articleState Asks High Court for 7th Delay in Khan al-Ahmar Evacuation Petition: Bennett too Busy with the War
Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.