Four bills have now been signed into Michigan law that’ll implement a comprehensive regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles. This framework is the first of its kind in the United States and it’ll help Michigan become a popular testing location for autonomous vehicle technology.

At least one major restriction does exist within one of the bills. Only auto manufacturers will be allowed to operate on-demand autonomous vehicle networks in the state, thereby barring Uber or Google from easily creating that kind of service.

In order to test their technology in the state, non-traditional manufacturers must work with traditional companies or have their vehicle/prototype approved by the NHTSA.

A coalition representing Google, Uber, Ford, Lyft, and others was largely pleased with this framework. However, it has called for a national framework to be created.

We’re pleased to see that the Governor of Michigan and its state legislators recognize the tremendous safety potential and mobility benefits of self-driving technology. States play an important role in road safety, such as licensing and registration, but the federal government should provide the national framework to prevent a patchwork of state laws and regulations. We advise states to avoid developing state-specific vehicle requirements that may contribute to inconsistency across the country.
– David Strickland, general counsel, coalition