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Historic Autonomous Vehicle Legislation Reported out by Michigan Senate

September 8, 2016

On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, the Michigan Senate approved Michigan's historic autonomous vehicle legislation that would permit driverless vehicles on Michigan roads. The legislation, comprised of Senate Bills 995, 996, 997 and 998 (the "AMV Bills"), passed without opposition and will next move to the Michigan House of Representatives, where action is expected by year end—perhaps even before the November elections. 

The AMV Bills were reported out by the Michigan Senate in the same form as reported out on August 31, 2016, by the Senate Committee on Economic Development and International Investment.

Highlights of each bill are as follows:

  • SB 995 permits the operation of individual AMVs, platoons of electronically coordinated vehicles and “on-demand automated motor vehicle networks” on Michigan roadways.
  • SB 995 immunizes a manufacturer of Automated Technology or an Automated Driving System against civil liability for damages arising from modifications without the manufacturer’s consent.
  • SB 995 specifies that an AMV’s automated driving system would be considered the driver or operator of a driverless vehicle for purposes of determining compliance with traffic and motor vehicle laws.  
  • SB 996 permits self-certifying vehicle manufacturers to deploy “SAVE projects,” which are on-demand automated motor vehicle networks within certain types of geographical areas. These areas include designated municipal and regional authority areas; university campuses; senior citizens developments; and other, similar areas.
  • SB 997 excludes roads within a mobility research center—such as the planned American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan—from Michigan Vehicle Code provisions applicable to private roads open to the general public.
  • SB 998 limits the civil liability of motor vehicle mechanics or motor vehicle repair facilities that repair an AMV.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Brendan Cahill (248-203-0721), Bill Kohler (313-568-6603), Paul Laurenza (202-906-8646), or your Dykema relationship attorney.

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