The government of Portugal is now planning to introduce “free zones” in certain parts of the country where self-driving vehicle and drone tech can be deployed and tested more easily through the use of special regulations and investment incentives, Portugal’s industry secretary has revealed.
The idea behind the plan is to further establish Portugal as a good place to base a tech startup, drawing also on the relatively cheap but well educated workforce and the relatively friendly to foreign investment property market. Portugal reportedly has some of the largest lithium reserves in Europe, it should be noted.
As it stands, Portugal’s laws don’t allow for the testing of self-driving vehicles on public roads. Interestingly, though, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) already possesses a “digital center” in Lisbon where autonomous vehicle tech is being worked on; and of course a number of other major auto manufacturers possess significant operations in the country as well.
Officials are keenly focusing on certain locations and are studying them within a very careful legal framework, because such technologies have an massive impact. Being a delicate and volatile case, maximum efforts are being drawn to make it a success at any cost.