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      Driverless cars may be coming to a dealership near you

      Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation allowing the testing of automated motor vehicles on Michigan roadways.The governor called for the measures in his 2013 State of the State address. "Michigan is the automotive capital of the world," and Snyder. "By allowing the testing of automated, driverless cars today, we will stay at the forefront in automotive technological advances that will make driving safer and more efficient in the future."Snyder said companies and universities in Michigan are leading the way in many intelligent, connected vehicle programs aimed at driverless cars.This legislation, he said, is key to the future of research and development of automotive technology in the state.Senate Bill 169, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, allows automakers and upfitters to test automated motor vehicles but requires a human to be in the driverâ??s seat to monitor performance and intervene if necessary.A companion measure, SB 663, also sponsored by Kowall, protects original manufacturers from civil liability for damages caused by modified autonomous vehicles, unless the defect from which the damages resulted was present in the vehicle when it was manufactured.The bills are now Public Acts 231 and 251 of 2013.