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.

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      • 1 Year Ago
      Good news for the Michigan based car companies, they can test in their backyard. I'm not opposed to autonomous cars as long as the driver can select from a manual drive mode, semi autonomous mode or a fully autonomous mode.
        • 1 Year Ago
        I think it's good news for everyone now they can start testing in all sorts of conditions ranging from craptastic roads to a traditional U.P. winter.
      • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Spinning stuff on the roof is not going to work with picky consumers. Auto companies you get the size of a GPS antenna for your sensors, that's it.
        • 1 Year Ago
        that is prototype equipment during testing.. no customers are expected to buy this. Why would an automaker spend so much money retooling production of specific model vehicle, just to embed the sensors in the car.. only to have to change it all during subsequent design changes. They will test using modular (bolt on) equipment... then, when finalized, they will think about how to integrate the sensors into the bumpers, grill, headlights, etc.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The future is coming and I predict Texas will put up a fight as usual. Come on Perry, surprise us.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Perry is more likely to legalize autonomous firearms than autonomous vehicles.
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