Michigan to develop a 40-mile autonomous vehicle corridor
The autonomous vehicle corridor will go from Detroit to Ann Arbor
Last week, Michigan announced that it is working with Cavnue, a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, to explore the eventual development of a connected and autonomous vehicle (AV) corridor that would run more than 40 miles from Detroit to Ann Arbor.
The final design for the corridor will make room for AVs, as well as traditional transit vehicles and freight and personal vehicles, according to a statement.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the corridor is a reflection of Michigan’s efforts to focus on tomorrow and that the state is “taking the initial steps to build the infrastructure to help [Michigan] test and deploy the cars of the future.”
Whitmer also stated that 2019 saw “a record-breaking investments in next-generation automotive, advanced manufacturing and high tech, in particular.”
“Planting this flag in the ground today and getting to work on a regional groundbreaking technology and infrastructure effort sends a strong signal that we will rebound from this (coronavirus) crisis and pick up where we left off,” she continued.
Considered to be the first of its kind, the AV corridor is expected to improve safety and transit access for those communities located along the planned route.
While the plan hasn’t been finalized, the AV corridor is expected to use Michigan Avenue and I-94 in Wayne and Washtenaw counties as the connectivity thoroughfare, creating a convenient connection between big destination points like the University of Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Michigan Central Station.
At an event announcing the news, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow again reiterated the potential for the corridor to bring new business to Michigan.
“I’m excited for all the small businesses and new businesses that are going to be popping up along the way to serve people, and I’m most excited about the fact that this project continues Michigan’s leadership as the transportation leader, not ‘a,’ ‘the’ transportation leader, in the future of autos.”
Testing will take place for the first two years of the project.
An advisory committee, which includes a number of vehicle manufacturers like General Motors, Ford and Toyota, as well as autonomous driving startups Argo AI and Alphabet’s Waymo, will provide additional support for the project.