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Michigan to Designate AV Lanes Between Detroit and Ann Arbor

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Ann Arbor Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Photo: Dwight Burdette via CC

Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Michigan a grant for autonomous vehicle research. This year, it elaborates on this investment with its recently announced plan to assign dedicated lanes for AVs between Detroit and Ann Arbor.

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More about the initiative

Just last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and other state officials revealed this initiative, report AP News contributors Tom Krisher and David Eggert. Whitmer expressed confidence that the project will “help increase the safety, efficiency, resilience, and operations” of Michigan roads in the near future.

The first part of the project will involve a two-year study that’s the first of its kind in the nation. The results of the study will help determine whether new lanes need to be constructed or if existing portions of the road can be used for the designated AV lanes.

If all goes as planned, the next phase of the project will be to incorporate driverless shuttles and buses. These vehicles would link the Detroit Metropolitan Airport with the University of Michigan via Interstate 94. The state’s Department of Transportation will supervise the AV-only lanes.

Project endorsement and funding

self driving car animation
Designated AV lanes will help accelerate driverless car tech in the Great Lake State
Photo: Julien Tromeur via Pixabay

Ford is just one of the automakers and AV companies on the project’s advisory board. Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford articulated how the state has played a key role in the history of transportation and that it will continue to do so. He views the AV project as “proof” that Michiganders “don’t plan to cede that future to anyone else.”

Companies funded by Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent entity, are providing the majority of financial backing for the project. A company called Cavnue is spearheading the initial study that will launch the AV project. If this initiative proves successful in Michigan, it hopes to market the tech to other cities.

For more news on Michigan transportation projects, read up on the new mobility solutions that Ford is establishing with the help of Newlab. And get the scoop on Carnegie Mellon Unversity’s new method that promises to enhance AV safety and precision.

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