Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer yesterday announced the establishment of dedicated lanes for autonomous vehicles (AVs) on a 40-mile stretch of highway between Detroit and Ann Arbor. The lanes will be built thanks to a private-public partnership (P3) and construction is expected to begin after a two-year study to determine the best strategy.
Much of the project will be funded by companies owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, which hopes to expand it to other states. It will be headed up by Cavnue, which hopes to begin running AVs with human backup drivers along the highway to collect data. They plan for self-driving buses to get first crack at the lanes, followed by smaller shuttles, freight trucks, and some personally owned AVs.
Ford, which is part of the project’s advisory board, recently began renovating an old railroad station in Detroit for use as its AV headquarters.