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On Saturday, December 10th, 2016, Michigan became the first U.S. state to pass a law that dictates how autonomous cars can be used in commercial deployment and testing and on public roads, according to a Michigan Economic Development Corp. statement.
For a long time, Michigan had been competing against silicon Valley for supremacy in self-driving vehicles. However, on December 10th, Michigan state has become the first to establish an extensive set of rules and comprehensive regulations in relation to the unmanned vehicles’ use, testing, and eventual sale.
The Law’s Highlights
Governor Rick Snyder signed the law on Saturday. The law states that self-driving cars lacking brake or gas pedals, steering wheel, and do not require human control are allowed for testing on public roads. Also, it allows tech as well as auto companies to set in place ride-sharing services.
Also, one of the main highlights focuses on how can self-driving cars be sold to the public. However, all of these regulations will come into force only after the technology has been carefully tested and ultimately certified.
In order to encourage the industry of self-driving cars to expand once the technology will be available, the Michigan lawmakers collaborated with major tech and auto industries. Hence, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, General Motors Co., Lyft Inc., Google, Toyota Motor Corp., and Google provided valuable insight, as the economic development agency states.
The business leaders in Michigan, as well as the politicians, are fighting to keep Detroit at the very center of automaking. Mostly because heavyweights located in Silicon Valley like Google, Alphabet Inc., and Uber Technologies Inc. are already speeding up research in the robot rides department.
In order to get an edge on Silicon Valley, the Michigan state will develop an impressive 335-acre testing facility for the unmanned vehicles. Furthermore, the University of Michigan will also open a testing area for the autonomous cars on its campus.