Transport ministry sources in Germany say that legislation is planned that will make black boxes mandatory in vehicles equipped with autopilot capabilities.

Under the terms of a proposal tabled by Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, the devices would be included by automakers to assist in determining accountability when an accident occurs. The black boxes would record when the autopilot feature is engaged, instances when the self-driving system requested that the driver assume control of the vehicle and when the driver was fully in charge of operating the vehicle.

In addition to requiring that cars be equipped with black boxes, the proposed legislation says that drivers must remain seated and be prepared to intervene in emergencies but would not be required to monitor traffic or be actively involved in steering the vehicle.

A draft of the legislation is expected to be circulated to other government ministries this summer for approval.