Michigan approves Autonomous vehicle testing without steering wheel

Michigan became the first US state to allow testing and selling Autonomous vehicles that do not have the wheel.

Highly Autonomous vehicles (Gav) without a rudder will be tested on public roads. It is seen as a key step to securing the state’s position as a centre of car production in the United States.

The Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder said: “we put the world on wheels and now we have to pave the way of transformation of the automotive industry”.

Sixteen American States now allow the testing of Autonomous vehicles in one form or another. Nevada leads in 2011, and California is about to allow the testing of vehicles without steering wheels, brake pedals, accelerator, or by the operator in the cabin of the car.

A new law in Michigan is helping to pave the way for Ford’s plan to offer mass production of a fully Autonomous vehicle by the year 2021. This part of the plan of Ford smart mobility.

The President of Ford and CEO mark fields said, ‘this is every bit as significant as the introduction of the moving Assembly line Ford 100 years ago. We are focused on delivering Autonomous vehicles, which can enhance security and solve social and environmental problems for millions of people.

Currently, Ford is testing Autonomous cars in Palo Alto, California, but the legislators of Michigan offers a chance to check in and around the headquarters of the company in Detroit. There are 30 hybrids Fusion is being tested in California now.

University of Michigan cautiously welcomed the move to allow testing of Havs. Brandon Schoettle from the University research Institute for transport said: ‘the act of the vehicle moving around like this on any public road is unprecedented, given the recent introduction of such technologies.

Governor Snyder also passed laws exempting mechanics from legal action if an Autonomous car is involved in a collision, while the car was serviced or repaired in accordance with manufacturer specifications.

Alisdair Suttie