Michigan transportation officials are working with a tech startup to devote a lane of traffic on a busy interstate to autonomous vehicles.

A twenty-five mile stretch of I-94 running between Detroit and Ann Arbor has been selected for the autonomous vehicle project. As part of the project, a lane of the interstate would be outfitted with infrastructure and technological improvements to support a lane dedicated to self-driving vehicles.

The I-94 project is moving ahead as a partnership between the Michigan Department of Transportation and Cavnue, a startup specializing in road infrastructure designed for autonomous vehicles.

“With billions of dollars already invested in intelligent, connected, and autonomous in-vehicle technology, Cavnue will take these technological advancements one step further by adding the roadway into the connected driving experience,” said Tyler Duvall, Co-founder and CEO of Cavnue. “By partnering with leading companies across the industry, Cavnue is working to build connected and autonomous vehicle corridors that enable transportation solutions with the potential to save lives by reducing crashes, boosting productivity by cutting time wasted in traffic, and increasing access to personal and shared mobility.”

Canvue announced the project in 2020, but announced a capital funding milestone on April 27, 2022. Canvue said that they’ve secured $130 million in Series A funding for the project in an investment led by Ford and Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners.

“As part of Ford’s strategic investment, Cavnue will leverage Ford vehicles and the automaker’s hands-free driving technology to demonstrate how Cavnue’s smart road platform can enhance vehicle performance experiences through vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity. Ford’s technical team will help Cavnue understand OEM requirements and accelerate our development of the digital infrastructure needed to communicate with connected vehicles, including the definition of messages, sensing requirements, and protocols,” Cavnue said in a news release.

 

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