Michigan Just Became First State To Approve Self-Driving Vehicles On Its Roads

Michigan just became the first state to approve self-driving cars on its roads and establish regulations for their testing, use and sale.

Self-Driving Cars In Michigan

According to Computerworld, the governor of Michigan Rick Snyder signed into law a series of bills at the Automotive Hall of Fame on Friday, Dec. 9. The legislation is published on Michigan's governor official site and allows fully autonomous vehicles on the public roads, including those without drivers and steering wheels.

What is most interesting to the the Michigan law is the fact that it is going to a great extent, allowing for the testing of self-driving cars without a brake pedal, steering wheel or human in the front seat. The law also allows ride-sharing companies to use self-driving cars for their services. The law will also allow self-driving cars that incorporate tech already tested and certified to be sold to the public.

Among the big companies that have helped shape the legislation are included Google, General Motors, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Lyft and Uber. This is considered by the tech analysts as a huge moment for self-driving-car policymaking. However, rather than a reliance on a state-by-state approach, automakers have conventionally been pushing for a federal framework for autonomous cars.

Previous Initiatives

Companies like Google and Ford have formed the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. The Coalition has been pushing for the federal government to approve a comprehensive set of regulations regarding the testing and use of autonomous cars, according to Business Insider.

In order to avoid disparate state-by-state regulations, in September, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released guidelines for autonomous driving vehicles asking states to develop uniform policies. It also asked automakers to submit voluntarily a 15-point safety assessment in order to protect consumer privacy and to ensure the tech was safe.

In November, The Self-Driving Coaltion for Safer Streets released a statement stating that the organization discouraged "state and local policymakers from pursuing their own rules," supporting the development of federal regulations. In Coalition's vision local and state rules would contribute "to an inconsistent patchwork of regulations."

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