Lawmakers: Car-test law a boost for auto industry

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

A new law that will allow companies to test driverless cars on Michigan roads will be a boost for the state's auto industry, according to Gov. Rick Snyder and the sponsor of the legislation.

Snyder signed the bills Friday, saying the legislation, which requires a person to be in the driverless vehicle to take the wheel if necessary, was needed to keep Michigan in the lead in vehicle research and design.

“Michigan is the automotive capital of the world,” he said in a statement. “By allowing the testing of automated, driverless cars today, we will stay at the forefront in automotive technological advances that will make driving safer and more efficient in the future.”

Snyder's office said that Michigan businesses and universities in Michigan “are leading the way in many intelligent, connected vehicle programs aimed at driverless cars. This legislation … is key to the future of research and development of automotive technology in the state.”

Both bills were sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake. He told The Detroit News that the laws could help retain research business in Michigan.

Continental Corp. had considered moving some autonomous vehicle testing to Nevada, Kowall said. The company has facilities in Auburn Hills and the Sault Ste. Marie area.

California and Florida also allow such tests.

In November, the University of Michigan announced a collaboration with government and business to make Ann Arbor the first American city with a shared fleet of networked, driverless vehicles by 2021.

Researchers are conducting a street-level connected vehicle experiment called Safety Pilot that involves 3,000 area residents in networked vehicles.

In October, the university's regents approved a $6.5 million, 30-acre driverless car test site near the school's North Campus.

businessGoogleMichiganScience & TechnologySelf-driving cars

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Asian American youth report anger, sadness and fear over surge in racist behavior

Survey finds about 80 percent experienced bullying or verbal harassment

Court prevents Trump administration from blocking WeChat pending hearing

Late Saturday night, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a preliminary… Continue reading

San Francisco Symphony, Opera musicians settle contracts

Performers’ salaries modified due to inability to play live

California’s troubled unemployment agency needs immediate overhaul, report says

By Patrick McGreevy Los Angeles Times California’s antiquated unemployment benefits system requires… Continue reading

In Brown Type: New survey finds engagement and trend to progressivism among Asian American voters

The 2016 election and ‘Trump effect’ have fired up the voting bloc

Most Read