By Gabby Abel
Year after year, Michigan has been a leader in the automotive industry — and 2016 hasn’t been any different. This year, autonomous vehicle technology started to change the way we think about transportation, shifting the discussion from automotive achievements to inventive mobility technologies.
Last Friday, Gov. Snyder took the next step in solidifying our place as the leader in the mobility industry by signing bills aimed at providing greater opportunities to test, manufacture and operate autonomous vehicles in our state.
This landmark legislation will allow transportation technologies to advance in ways that will dramatically distinguish Michigan as the leader in the mobility industry. More specifically, this legislation will allow the operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan roads. This is a huge step for our state, because it will allow accurate and proper testing of autonomous vehicles on real roads in real situations.
How is it that Michigan has risen to the top of this field so quickly? It’s simple — here in Michigan we have the talent, innovation and vision to make advances in mobility possible. We are committed to being a leader in this new industry and making a positive change not only for our state, but for the world.
“We are becoming the mobility industry, shaped around technology that makes us more aware and safer as we’re driving. By recognizing that and aligning our state’s policies as new technology is developed, we will continue as the leader the rest of the world sees as its biggest competition,” Snyder said.
With the signing of the legislative package, automotive mobility is no longer just a vision or a goal — it’s a reality that puts these cars on our roads statewide. Companies from all over the world are coming in to test cutting edge technology in Michigan facilities. And people who are currently unable to drive due to certain disabilities or health conditions suddenly have hope they might experience the freedom of having a car to get them independently where they need to go.
Autonomous vehicles are a symbol of our state’s comeback, further proving that Michigan is at its best when it residents work together. Michigan has an amazing pool of talented citizens, and thanks to this legislation these individuals will be able to use those talents to help create newer technologies ensuring this momentum continues well into the 21st Century.