Flanked by a Ford Model-T on one side and a self-driving Fusion on the other, Gov. Rick Snyder today at the Automotive Hall of Fame Museum signed legislation that will continue Michigan’s legacy of being the world leader in automotive design, technology and production. By 2019 Michigan will have over 350+ miles of infrastructure miles wired for V2I communications.
The laws allow for:
- Autonomous testing.
- Testing and use on public roads.
- Truck Platoons.
- Self-driving ride sharing
The legislation creates the Michigan Council on Future Mobility within the Michigan Department of Transportation to make future recommendations on statewide policy recommendations that will keep Michigan ahead of the curve on regulatory issues that could impede new development. The bill is now PA 332 of 2016.
Gov. Snyder also signed three other bills sponsored by Sen. Kowall, Sen. Rebekah Warren, and Sen. Ken Horn, respectively, as part of the autonomous vehicles package:
- SB 996 outlines specific parameters for entities that wish to offer on-demand autonomous vehicle networks to the public. It is now PA 333.
- SB 997 recognizes the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in statute and removes barriers to operating at the facility. It is now PA 334.
- SB 998 exempts mechanics from any damages to vehicles that result from repairs, if the repairs were made in accordance with manufacturer specifications. It is now PA 335.
All of the bills were approved with strong bipartisan support in both chambers.
Located at the 335-acre historic Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township, the center will serve as a research, testing and self-certification facility for self-driving and connected vehicle technologies that are being developed by private industry, academia and government. It is the second purpose-built facility in the state, the first being Mcity, a smaller proving ground that mimics real-world situations and is located in Ann Arbor on the University of Michigan’s campus.
The companies that supported the legislation were Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) U.S., Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp. and Google Inc., as well as ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.