AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Michigan state permits use of self-driving cars on public roads

Michigan state permits use of self-driving cars on public roads image

Nica Onate / Ford | December 13, 2016 06:46

Citizens can now use their autonomous cars on Michigan's public roadways

Joined by bill sponsor Sen. Mike Kowall and mobility leaders from Ford and General Motors (GM), Gov. Rick Synder has recently signed the Senate Bill 995, which allows operation of self-driving cars on Michigan’s public roadways.

Previously, only manufacturers can operate autonomous cars on public roads. With this policy, citizens can also now use their automated cars on Michigan's roadways. All automated cars, however, should run on the same speed and a single network.

For safety purposes, similar safety measures for testing autonomous car will be applicable to autonomous car operation.

“Michigan put the world on wheels and now we are leading the way in transforming the auto industry. We are becoming the mobility industry, shaped around technology that makes us more aware and safer as we’re driving. By recognizing that and aligning our state’s policies as new technology is developed, we will continue as the leader the rest of the world sees as its biggest competition,” said Syder.

The legislation also decided to create the Michigan Council on Future Mobility, wherein they will be making future suggestions to prevent any possible delay of the new development.

In relation to this, Gov. Snyder also signed another three bills sponsored by Sen. Kowall, Sen. Rebekah Warren, and Sen. Ken Horn, respectively.

The SBB 996 or now known as as PA 336, outlines specific parameters for entities that wish to offer on-demand autonomous vehicle networks to the public. Meanwhile,the SB 997 or PA 334, recognizes the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in statute and removes barriers to operating at the facility.

The SB 998, now called PA 335, exempts mechanics from any damages to vehicles that result from repairs, if the repairs were made in accordance with manufacturer specifications. All bills were approved with strong bipartisan support in both chambers.