Skubick: Autonomous car issue could get parked in Capitol

Photo courtesy of Google
Photo courtesy of Google

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Michigan House may delay a vote for six weeks on the autonomous car issue even though backers contend it is one of the most important economic growth issues on the legislative agenda.

When asked if he is disappointed that the issue might wait until fall, Rep. Brad Jacobsen’s answer is blunt. “Ah, yes,” said Rep. Jacobsen.

The governor and backers of the autonomous car industry package are making progress to propel Michigan into the forefront of this brave new world.

But the word is House Republican Speaker Kevin Cotter is getting complaints from some lawmakers that as they rush to get back on the campaign trail next week, there is not enough time to vet this package and all the other issues on the 11th hour agenda. “We have some members who are concerned that things are moving too fast and haven’t had a chance to really dig into the weeds on all the issues,” explained Rep. Jacobsen.

That means the package could be on hold.

Meanwhile Google, Uber and other high-tech companies want to get into this business and the major car companies want to be in it too.

And the sponsor reports the two sides have worked out their differences.

But Rep. Ray Franz is a “no” vote because he claims “the computers are taking over.”

And while that doesn’t scare him, he is concerned. “I don’t know about scared but it definitely concerns me,” says Rep. Franz. “We are relinquishing our humanity in a way. It turns our responsibilities to someone else and it makes us non responsible for activities that quite frankly we should be.”

And what about the talk of how all this will create jobs? “If it was all about creating jobs, we’d put everyone in a rickshaw,” answers Rep. Franz.

Sponsors are still hoping for a vote this week. If not it’s on hold for six weeks.

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