In its Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index analysis , international consultancy company KPMG assessed the countries examined on the basis of 25 individual factors. In the ‘technology and innovation’ and ‘policy and legislation’ pillars, Germany comes in fourth and sixth place respectively. When it comes to ‘infrastructure’ and ‘consumer acceptance’, however, the country only ranks in the middle, coming thirteenth for both pillars. Dr. Moritz Püstow, a partner at KPMG Law, attributes this to Germany’s patchy mobile network, among other things. The federal structure of Germany also makes it more difficult to develop technical standards and a strategy for autonomous driving.

Yet, Germany actually stands a good chance of moving up the rankings, as a study by the European Patent Office (EPO) shows. According to this study, in 2017 alone, some 4,000 European patent applications for self-driving vehicles were filed with the EPO, 500 of which were from Germany, making it the most innovative country on the continent.