A four-bill package, SB 995, 996, 997 and 998, designed to authorize the testing of autonomous vehicle research in Michigan passed House committee and is awaiting action on the House floor.
One of the main focuses of the bill is to position Michigan as a world leader in the development and deployment of AV technology and to have a regulatory framework in which that can take place. The bills also for the development of a Mobility Research Center at the old Willow Run Airport in Washtenaw County, and creates the Michigan Council on Future Mobility within the Michigan Department of Transportation. Local government interests will be represented on that council.
The League has been actively engaged in this legislation and is supportive of the advancement of this technology. One specific concern that we had was how this would impact our ability to regulate the placement of poles in our rights-of-way. We were able to secure an amendment that specifically protects local authority over communications networks and facilities.
We anticipate passage of this legislation before the end of the year.
John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.