Michigan to develop connected, autonomous vehicle roadway of the future

The state of Michigan has partnered with mobility firm Cavnue to develop a first-of-its-kind corridor for connected and autonomous vehicles. This public-private partnership will explore the opportunity and viability of the project working with state and local partners, stakeholders, and communities across the corridor from Detroit to Ann Arbor.

The first phase of the project will test the technology and explore the viability of a 40-mile driverless vehicle corridor. The ‘road of the future’ will feature lanes that support transit and shared mobility options in addition to private vehicles between Downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.

This process will include a robust outreach effort to design the corridor with local communities. It will focus on equitably improving mobility across the corridor and closing long-standing gaps in access to transit and transportation.

It is planned to add sensors and cameras to the roads so that vehicles understand their surroundings. In addition, they could add physical barriers, which would make safe transport easier, restricting the areas of pedestrians or cyclists.

Over time, the corridor will yield greater safety and accessibility while allowing existing roadways to handle more passengers – and fairly and equitably provide critical access in communities with long-standing transportation and transit gaps.

Cavnue, a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, will lead the project, with participation from numerous manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, Waymo, Toyota, and BMW. The exact changes they will make to the infrastructure are not yet defined.

The action we’re taking today is good for our families, our businesses, and our economy as a whole. Here in Michigan, the state that put the world on wheels, we are taking the initial steps to build the infrastructure to help us test and deploy the cars of the future,said Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Friday, during the project announcement.

Self-driving vehicles would help move traffic more efficiently, however, it is a difficult technology to develop, and implementation has been postponed until it is safe.

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