Michigan approves cars without drivers or steering wheels on its roads

Michigan approves cars without drivers or steering wheels on its roads
Google self-driving car. (Image: General Physics Laboratory via Observer, Flickr)

The governor of Michigan today signed into law a series of bills that allows fully autonomous vehicles, including those without drivers and steering wheels, to begin using public roadways.

Flanked by a Ford Model T and a self-driving Ford Fusion, Gov. Rick Snyder signed four bills as part of the autonomous vehicles legislative package that allows the operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan public roads. Before, only testing of the vehicles by manufacturers was permitted.

“As far as I know, Michigan is the first state to make it official that these types of vehicles can be used on public roads,” said Brandon Schoettle, a project manager with the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

“California is also planning to enact similar legislation soon. Obviously, the general act of vehicles driving around like this on any public roads is somewhat unprecedented anywhere, given the very recent introduction of such technology,” Schoettle said.

Earlier this year, Pittsburgh began allowing real-world tests of a self-driving, Uber-owned Ford Fusion.

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