A recently introduced piece of legislation in Michigan could make the state the first US one that would give automakers full freedom over their driverless projects.
Michigan plans to become a leading state of the autonomous trend, by proposing a legislation aiming to allow carmakers to fully test, produce and sell driverless cars here, thus removing any cumbersome restrictions imposed by other states that ban such vehicles from public roads without a driver behind the wheel. Furthermore, the carmakers will have clear roads ahead to launch ride-sharing services with fleets of self-driving cars. This is a bold step from Michigan, in contrast to California for example, which still shows skepticism toward the technology. And this is exactly the reason why Google is bringing its project near Detroit, by opening a self-driving development center in Novi.
“It’s coming. It’s coming fast,” Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said about this wave. “The technology is at a point where it will be incorporated into something that is mass-produced.” The bills are expected to be reviewed this summer by a Senate panel.
There are also voices that are raising against such a move, claiming that there are concerns over safety and privacy when it comes to autonomous vehicles. “It’s foolhardy to rush into this without a plan just because it seems to be a way to stimulate jobs,” President of the Consumer Watchdog advocacy group said. “Self-driving cars have a long, long way to go… because robots and humans don’t communicate”.