Michigan To Let Self-Driving Cars On Public Roads Without Human Drivers


I am still told by some people either that a) self-driving cars will never actually “happen” in the real world or b) they didn’t even know self-driving cars existed. So this might be part of what continues to drive me to post relevant self-driving car news.

The latest: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder just signed legislation allowing companies to test self-driving cars on a) on public roads and b) without the use of human drivers on board (except in the case of tractor-trailers):

The package of bills signed into law Friday comes with few specific state regulations and leaves many decisions up to automakers and companies like Google and Uber.

It also allows automakers and tech companies to run autonomous taxi services and permits test parades of self-driving tractor-trailers as long as humans are in each truck. And they allow the sale of self-driving vehicles to the public once they are tested and certified, according to the state.

The move was contextualized as crucial in a) allowing Michigan to be on the “forefront” of the new automotive economy and b) to install this “potential life-saving technology” as soon as possible.

I have no problem with any of this—but again I am stunned at the gulf between the public’s (lack of) understanding and awareness regarding the radical technological shifts that are happening right now and what is actually happening right now.