The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Michigan Adopts Autonomous Vehicle Laws

December 11, 2016

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Dec. 9 signs autonomous vehicle legislation during a special ceremony at the Automotive Hall of Fame Museum, surrounded by state legislators and auto industry leaders. Photo courtesy of the governor’s office.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Dec. 9 signs autonomous vehicle legislation during a special ceremony at the Automotive Hall of Fame Museum, surrounded by state legislators and auto industry leaders. Photo courtesy of the governor’s office.

Michigan became the first state to pass comprehensive self-driving legislation on Dec. 9, when Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a package of bills permitting authorized cars to operate on public roads without a driver or steering wheel, the governor has announced.

“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 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.”

The legislative package comprised four separate bills. Senate Bill 995, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kowall, allows operation of self-driving vehicles on Michigan roads. Previously, only manufacturer testing — with tighter restrictions — was permitted. The bill also permits automated vehicle platoons, in which vehicles travel together at electronically coordinated speeds, and authorizes on-demand self-driving vehicle networks.

Additionally, SB 995 creates the Michigan Council on Future Mobility, which as part of the state Department of Transportation will make recommendations on statewide policy. The goal is to ensure that regulation of autonomous vehicles keeps pace with technology advancements and doesn’t impede progress.

Senate Bill 996, also sponsored by Kowall, establishes guidelines for the operation of ride-hailing/on-demand vehicle services that use autonomous cars. Senate Bill 997, sponsored by Sen. Rebekah Warren, helps formally establish the American Center for Mobility. Last month, construction of the center began at Willow Run in Ypsilanti Township. The center will specialize in connected and autonomous vehicle testing, education, and product development.

Senate Bill 998, sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn, exempts mechanics and repair facilities from product liability lawsuits when autonomous vehicle repairs are performed according to manufacturer specifications.

All four bills drew bipartisan support in the state Senate and House of Representatives.

Twitter Facebook Google+

Comments

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
 
 

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

FleetFAQ

Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Sponsored by

The Professional Fleet Manager of the Year award has been given annually since 1985 by Automotive Fleet Magazine.

Read more

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher