Gov. Rick Snyder has approved Michigan to join California, Florida and Nevada in allowing self-driving vehicle research on the state’s streets and highways. Snyder has signed legislation allowing the testing of automated or self-driving vehicles on Michigan’s roads, but that doesn’t mean state residents will see cars with empty drivers’ seats anytime soon.
The laws, approved by the state Legislature, allow carmakers, auto suppliers and developers like Google to test automated vehicles. But they they require a human to be in the driver’s seat at all times to monitor performance and take control if necessary.
At least one auto supplier— Continental Corp—which has facilities in Auburn Hills and the Sault Ste. Marie area, had considered moving some autonomous vehicle testing to Nevada, according to state Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, who introduced the legislation in the state Senate. Nevada has permitted testing of autonomous cars on state roads since 2012. California and Florida also allow testing.
Test cars will carry an “M” license plate to identify them.