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Snyder Signs Bills Allowing Driverless Vehicles in Michigan

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Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation that will allow the testing of automated motor vehicles on Michigan roadways. The governor had called for the measure in his 2013 state of the state address.

In a statement, Snyder said “Michigan is the automotive capital of the world. 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 said companies and universities in the state are leading the way in many intelligent, connected vehicle programs aimed at driverless cars. The legislation, he said, is the key to the future of research and development of automotive technology in the state.

The legislation will allow automakers and upfitters to test automated motor vehicles but also require a human to be in the driver’s seat to monitor performance and intervene if necessary. A companion bill protects original manufacturers from civil liability for damages caused by modified autonomous vehicles, unless the defect from which the damages resulted was present in the vehicle when it was manufactured.

The bills are now Public Acts 231 and 251 of 2013. For more information, go to legislature.michigan.gov.

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