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New driver-less car lanes planned on 40 miles of I-94 in Michigan

The lanes will be along a stretch of I-94 from Detroit to Ann Arbor
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the Michigan Connected Corridor, which involves adding lanes for driver-less cars on 40 miles of I-94 from Detroit to Ann Arbor.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the Michigan Connected Corridor, which involves adding lanes for driver-less cars on 40 miles of I-94 from Detroit to Ann Arbor.(source: State of Michigan)
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 1:09 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Planners are hailing a project to add dedicated lanes only for driver-less cars along I-94 in Michigan as the first of its kind in the United States.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans Thursday to create autonomous vehicle lanes on 40 miles of I-94 between Detroit and Ann Arbor, which would link the University of Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Airport and downtown Detroit.

The state is partnering with Cavnue, which is a private company that will draw on resources from automakers and autonomous vehicle companies. They include Ford, General Motors, Argo AI, Arrival, BMW, Honda, Toyota, TuSimple and Waymo.

The project’s first phase involves deciding on a funding plan and whether the driver-less car lanes can be added to the shoulders, take over existing lanes on the freeway or should include adding new lanes. The study should last two years or less.

Construction and implementation of the driver-less only lanes would begin after the initial study period.

“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,” Whitmer said. “As we rebuild our roads to ensure every Michigander can drive to work and drop their kids at school safely, we will also continue working to build smart infrastructure to help prepare us for the roads of tomorrow.”

When complete, planners say the 40-mile stretch of I-94 will become the world’s most sophisticated roadway for private vehicles, public transportation and autonomous semi trucks or delivery vehicles.

“This groundbreaking project reinforces Michigan’s current position as a global leader in mobility innovation, and it also keeps us moving forward on a path to more equitable, safe and environmentally conscious transportation in the state,” said said Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer for the State of Michigan.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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