The initial phase of the project will test technology and explore the viability of a more than 40-mile driverless vehicle corridor between Downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.
The state of Michigan and Cavnue, a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, have teamed to develop a first-of-its-kind connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) corridor to help improve transportation across Southeast Michigan.
A key goal of the project will be to design the corridor with a focus on closing long-standing gaps in access to transit and transportation across the region.
Cavnue has been selected by the state to serve as master developer of the corridor project. The initial phase of the project will test technology and explore the viability of a more than 40-mile driverless vehicle corridor between Downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.
“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.
She added: “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.
“In Michigan, where the health of our workers and our economy are directly tied to the health of our auto industry, we will continue this innovative work to secure our state’s position as the automotive capital of the world.”
The vision for the corridor is intended to create lanes that are purpose built to accelerate and enhance the full potential of CAVs and move people. To achieve this, Cavnue will work with regional partners to plan, design, and develop, what it claims is the “world’s most sophisticated roadway”.
“This project, and the decision by Cavnue and Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners to invest here, continues to reinforce that the future of mobility will be designed and built in Detroit and Southeast Michigan”
It will combine innovations in physical, digital, coordination, and operational infrastructure to help increase the safety, efficiency, resilience, and operations of roadways, and improve the mobility experience for users by enabling a faster and more coordinated dedicated autonomous mobility corridor.
At its core, the project is designed to be future-proofed and evolve to meet transportation goals, beginning with connected buses and shared mobility vehicles such as vans and shuttles, and expanding to additional types of CAVs such as freight and personal vehicles.
The project envisions connecting Detroit and Ann Arbor along with key communities and destinations along Michigan Avenue and Interstate 94 in Wayne County and Washtenaw County with an innovative infrastructure solution that allows for a mix of connected and autonomous vehicles, traditional transit vehicles, shared mobility, and freight and personal vehicles.
It will build on existing investments made by the state of Michigan and local communities in smart infrastructure and transit and will link key destinations including the University of Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and Michigan Central Station.
“This project, and the decision by Cavnue and Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners to invest here, continues to reinforce that the future of mobility will be designed and built in Detroit and Southeast Michigan,” said Mike Duggan, mayor of the City of Detroit.
Cavnue expects to draw on an ecosystem of partner firms that bring global and Michigan-based capabilities in mobility, infrastructure and technology, planning, development, research and engineering.
Cavnue will work with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Department of Labour and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and industry and local project partners throughout phase one of the effort, expected to last approximately 24 months.
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