MI House passes platooning bill to shorten space between trucks

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Self-driving trucks would be allowed shorter distances between vehicles under legislation that has passed the Michigan House.

Lawmakers voted 64-44 Tuesday for the bill that would provide an exemption from Michigan’s requirement that trucks maintain sufficient space behind another truck or truck tractor — as long as the vehicle is part of an electronically linked group of self-driving trucks, also known as a “platoon.”

The change would not affect an already existing requirement that platoons accommodate other cars that wish to change lanes or exit the highway.

Michigan legalized platoons in 2016 as part of self-driving vehicle laws. The laws allowed smart commercial trucks on public roads so long as they operate in unison at coordinated speeds and state agencies do not object.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

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