Michigan lawmakers have voted to no longer require that someone be inside a self-driving car while it is tested on public roads.

The legislation won overwhelming approval in the state House Thursday. The Senate is expected to send the bills to Gov. Rick Snyder later in the day.

Supporters tout the measures as necessary to keep the U.S. auto industry's home state ahead of the curve on rapidly advancing technology.

The bills would make Michigan a rare state to explicitly end a requirement that a researcher be present inside an autonomous test vehicle.

Other provisions would allow for public operation of driverless vehicles when they are sold and ease the "platooning" of autonomous commercial trucks traveling closely together at electronically coordinated speeds.