Michigan legalizes sales of driverless car, clears path for AI ride-hailing services

No brake pedal? No steering wheel? No problem!

Michigan went red in the last presidential election, it has a Republican governor, and the GOP has control of both houses of the state legislature. But the Wolverine State has just enacted the most progressive autonomous driving laws in the country. Counterintuitive, we know.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the new laws into action today, in a move backed by the Detroit Three, Toyota, tech giant Google, and ride-sharing kings Uber and Lyft. As we reported when the bills originally passed through the Michigan Senate in September, the new laws mean autonomous vehicles can operate on any road in the state, at any time, and by anyone. Or no one.

Michigan's laws are unusual compared to Florida or California because they give companies the right to sell cars without traditional controls, like steering wheels or pedals. That's great news for Google and its mouse-like autonomous vehicle, but it's equally important as companies across the tech and automotive industries race to deploy fully autonomous ride-hailing services – Michigan has just become ground zero in the quest to kill the cabbie and fill American roads with robo taxis.

"By establishing guidelines and standards for self-driving vehicles, we're continuing that tradition of excellence in a way that protects the public's safety while at the same time allows the mobility industry to grow without overly burdensome regulations," Gov. Snyder said.

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