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A Better Partnership

Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog

December 30, 2013

Michigan Becomes the Fourth State to Enact Autonomous Vehicle Legislation

This weekend, Governor Snyder made Michigan just the fourth state to enact autonomous vehicle legislation.  Governor Snyder signed both SB 169 and SB 663 that we have been blogging about.  The enacted SB 169 now allows for testing of vehicles equipped with autonomous equipment on Michigan roads.  This allowance for, and regulation of, testing is not limited to car manufacturers and automotive suppliers.  The law also covers “upfitters” – defined as a person that modifies a vehicle after manufacture.  And to protect the OEMs from liability for such testing, SB 663 limits OEM liability to defects present in the vehicle at time of manufacture.  This limitation on liability appears to extend not only to testing of the vehicles, but also claims for damages arising from attempted modification of vehicles for use of autonomous technology.    As 2014 arrives and we think of what the future may bring, imagine a day when you can use an app on your phone (or wrist) to summon your car or an autonomous taxi.  The beginnings of that technology may be tested on Michigan roads any day now.  Stay tuned for more details of the new laws in the coming months.  Happy New Year!

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