Michigan State Senate Mulling New Autonomous-Car Testing Rules

Four bills are being considered by a Michigan state Senate committee that would give sweeping freedom to automakers to test self-driving cars in the state.

Sen. Ken Horn, who chairs the Economic Development and International Investment Committee which held a hearing and solicited input on the bills on August 31, said the legislation is meant to “put Michigan on the forefront” of testing for emerging autonomous vehicle technologies.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles in December 2015 considered passing restrictive new rules on self-driving car testing, in the name of safety. The major rule that was opposed by industry groups (such as Google) was a recommendation that all self-driving cars without a human onboard be banned from the roads.

A major victory for carmakers, if the Michigan bills are passed, would be a provision allowing autonomous cars to operate without a human driver. From Detroit News:

“Michigan law now requires a self-driving car have an operator who could take over if necessary. The proposed law would allow an automated driving system to operate as the driver.”

Read more at Jalopnik.

The bills themselves may be found here: SB 995, SB 996, SB 997, and SB 998.

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