„The new law protects the public’s safety while at the same time allows the mobility industry to grow without overly burdensome regulations,” said governor of Michigan Rick Snyder. New bill will allow automakers to develop, test and sells vehicles with autonomous driving systems in the most populated state of U.S.
Governor said on today’s signing ceremony that “By establishing guidelines and standards for self-driving vehicles, we’re continuing that tradition of excellence in a way that protects the public’s safety while at the same time allows the mobility industry to grow without overly burdensome regulations”.
For now just 10 states have enacted autonomous vehicle legislation
With the new liberal policy vehicles without steering wheels or brake pedals will be allowed driving on public roads. Companies who operate autonomous ride-hailing services and producing self-driving cars that have passed adequate testing and certification to be sold to consumers.
The law comes with stamps of approval from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp., Google, Uber and Lyft.
Regulating self-driving cars has been uncharted territory for both state and federal governments. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued 15-point voluntary guidelines for automakers in September and just finished receiving public comments on the policy.
Just 10 states — including Michigan — and the District of Columbia have enacted autonomous vehicle legislation. It’s uncertain whether the remaining 40 will consider self-driving cars legal on public roads.
“The enactment of this legislation affords Michigan the opportunity to be at the forefront of the next major transition in the automotive industry and should serve as a model for other states,” GM said in a statement.
However, tech companies like Uber are not happy with the contents of SB 996, which allows only “motor vehicle manufacturers” to participate in a so-called SAVE project. A SAVE project is an initiative that allows eligible automakers to deploy a network of on-demand self-driving taxis.
“We oppose SB 996 (the ‘SAVE Act’) and its anti-tech protectionist elements, but SB 995 helps resolve many of those issues, and we appreciate the state enacting those improvements,” an Uber spokeswoman said Friday. “Ultimately, we think it is early in the life of this technology to prescribe state laws, and while these bills may work for Michigan, we do not think they are something other states should use as a model.”
The new laws come at an auspicious time for automakers and companies like Google and Uber who are racing against each other to develop and commercialize the technology.