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Michigan the first U.S. state with comprehensive laws for self-driving cars

The state of Michigan wants you to know it’s number one in the nation, if not the world, for driverless vehicles. Today Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law the first comprehensive set of regulations for autonomous vehicles in the U.S., according to a release from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“Michigan is the global center for automotive technology and development, having transformed the way the world moves for more than 100 years,” Snyder said. “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.”

More: Michigan takes the lead in the race to support driverless cars on public roads

The legislation signed into law today includes regulations that cover autonomous vehicle testing, use, and eventual sale. The law specifies the conditions under which driverless vehicles can be tested and used on public roads. Going far beyond current developments in driverless technology, the regulations also covers the testing of fully autonomous vehicles with no steering wheels, pedals, or any provision for human control. The new legislation allows automakers and tech companies to operate driverless ridesharing services. Also, once self-driving technologies have been tested and certified for use, the regulations allow the sale of driverless cars for public use.

The Michigan Council on Future Mobility, an arm of the Michigan Department of Transportation, is established under the new law. The Council will recommend industry standards policies, regulate connected vehicle networks, and determine how traffic data will be collected and shared. Michigan already has two autonomous vehicle centers, the American Center for Mobility  in Ypsilanti and the Mcity proving ground in Ann Arbor (pictured above).

The legislation is a clear sign that the state government and economic forces are aligned in keeping Michigan in the forefront of automotive development. Our leadership in the automotive industry is recognized globally and these new regulations are another example of how Michigan is forward thinking when it comes to innovation in the mobility sector,” said Steve Arwood, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. By creating a more in-depth framework for how self-driving vehicle technology can be researched, tested, and used, we’re building a structured plan that takes into account the needs of private industry looking to invest in research and the development of this technology.”