LANSING (WWJ) A state House of Representatives committee passed a package of four bills Tuesday aimed at making Michigan a research center for testing of autonomous vehicles.

The changes were meant to alleviate concerns first raised by Google.

“If adopted, the bills would allow a computer system to serve as a vehicle’s driver when active and allow driverless cars on Michigan roads for any reason, not only while being tested. The legislation also would extend liability protections to mechanics who work on autonomous vehicles and authorize the planned American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in Ypsilanti Township,” per Crain’s Detroit Business.

The bills, aimed at making Michigan a research center for autonomous vehicle testing, now move to the full House.

“We want to be able to have Michigan to be open to all car companies,” said Dave Biswas from the office of Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake. “And for them to be able to test and eventually operate on Michigan roads.”

Besides Michigan, other states, including Florida, Nevada, Arizona and California, are positioning themselves as hubs for the research and development of self-driving vehicles.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, to meet the potential demand for the emerging technology, the federal government created an unprecedented set of guidelines for autonomous cars, per the Detroit News.

The federal guidelines are meant to outline best practices for the safe design, development and testing of automated vehicles prior to commercial sale or operation on public roads.

They lay out a 15-point safety assessment for manufacturers developing and deploying automated vehicle technologies that range from data recording and sharing of information, to vehicle cybersecurity protocols.

Why all the preemptive security and rules? Business Insider predicts there will be 10 million autonomous cars on the road by 2020.





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