Michigan Seeking to Develop a 40-Mile Autonomous Roadway of the Future

The project will undergo a 24-month trial period where various technologies and infrastructures will be tested.
Loukia Papadopoulos

The state of Michigan has partnered with mobility firm Cavnue to see whether it's viable and efficient to build a 40-mile (64-kilometer) corridor that will connect downtown Detroit to Ann Arbor. This corridor will be an autonomous roadway of the future. 


Cavnue will conduct a feasibility analysis to evaluate the development of this first-of-its-kind project. The corridor will serve to improve safety, congestion and accessibility.

The corridor will not disturb existing roadways and will in fact allow them to handle more commuters. Instead, the corridor will provide crucial access to communities with long-standing transportation and transit gaps.

The project is set to evolve to meet transit goals. It will start with connected buses and shared mobility vehicles, and hopefully evolve to include additional types of connected and autonomous vehicles such as freight carriers.

Cavnue will start with a development period that will last 24 months and test different types of technologies and infrastructures. 

“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 on Friday, during the project announcement.

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Whitmer also added that the state will continue working to build smart infrastructure to help prepare for the roads of tomorrow and help secure the state’s position as the automotive capital of the world.

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 Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and industry partners such as Ford, GM, BMW, Toyota, Honda, TuSimple and Waymo.

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