Ford Fusion Hybrid Automated Research Vehicle

The state of Michigan is set to join Japan, the United Kingdom and the US states of California, Florida and Nevada in allowing testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

A bill in both the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate passed with just a single dissenting vote, and will now go before Republican Governor Rick Snyder – a known proponent of driverless cars – to get signed into law. As The Detroit News points out, Snyder specifically called for driverless testing in Michigan during his State of the State address.

The new law calls for a human driver behind the wheel at all times, should the system fail, while any and all driverless cars will wear Michigan's distinctive manufacturer's "M" plate. The law would not be limited to just automakers, though, specifically allowing so-called "upfitters" like Google test in the state as well.

This news follows Ford's announcement of a driverless Fusion Hybrid (shown above), co-developed with the University of Michigan and State Farm Insurance, as well as news of semi-autonomous testing by General Motors and Nissan.