The bill allows operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan roads where before only testing of these vehicles by manufacturers was permitted
The US state of Michigan has signed a package of bills which define how self-driving vehicles can be legally used on the state’s roads.
With a Ford Model-T on one side and a self-driving Fusion vehicle on the other, the state’s Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation at the Automotive Hall of Fame Museum. It bolsters the state’s position as a world leader in autonomous and connected vehicle technology.
“Michigan put the world on wheels and now we are leading the way in transforming the auto industry,” Snyder said. “We are becoming the mobility industry, shaped around technology that makes us more aware and safer as we’re driving. By recognising 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.”
Joined by bill sponsor Senator Mike Kowall and mobility leaders from Ford and GM, Governor. Snyder signed Senate Bill 995, which allows operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan roads where before only testing of these vehicles by manufacturers was permitted.
All safety requirements that pertain to the testing of autonomous vehicles will apply to autonomous vehicle operation. The bill will allow for automated vehicle platoons, where vehicles travel together at electronically coordinated speeds, and authorises on-demand autonomous vehicle networks.
Additionally, the legislation creates the Michigan Council on Future Mobility within the Michigan Department of Transportation to make future recommendations on statewide policy recommendations that will keep Michigan ahead of the curve on regulatory issues that could impede new development.
The bill is now PA 332 of 2016. Governor Snyder also signed three other bills as part of the autonomous vehicles package:
Michigan has a progressive private-public partnership mobility programme in place which is helping to realise its Department of Transport’s vision for a connected vehicle environment encompassing a large segment of southeast Michigan, centered along the freeway and surrounding arterial network in the metropolitan Detroit area.
The state is home to the largest deployment of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology in the United States called the Smart Corridor.
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