Gov. Rick Snyder signs landmark legislation to allow operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan roadways


New laws will ensure Michigan continues to be the world leader in autonomous, driverless and connected vehicle technology

Friday, December 9, 2016

Dearborn, MI – 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.

“Michigan put the world on wheels and now we are leading the way in transforming the auto industry,” Snyder said. “We are becoming the mobility industry, shaped around technology that makes us more aware and safer as we’re driving. By recognizing that and aligning our state’s policies as new technology is developed, we will continue as the leader the rest of the world sees as its biggest competition.”

Joined by bill sponsor Sen. Mike Kowall and mobility leaders from Ford and GM, Gov. Snyder signed Senate Bill 995, which allows operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan roads where before only testing of these vehicles by manufacturers was permitted. All safety requirements that pertain to the testing of autonomous vehicles will apply to autonomous vehicle operation. The bill will allow for automated vehicle platoons, where vehicles travel together at electronically coordinated speeds, and authorizes on-demand autonomous vehicle networks. Additionally, 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.

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