As automotive technology continues to progress, it is increasingly imperative that the infrastructure on which vehicles operate keeps pace. In a partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Cavnue is serving as the master developer in co-creating the first connected and automated vehicle corridor in North America between Ann Arbor and Detroit. This smart road will directly support the advancement of technology in vehicles.
Launched in September 2020, the Cavnue project in Michigan is intended to unlock the many benefits of autonomous and connected vehicles , including reducing auto fatality rates, improving the travel experience, enhancing transit services, and increasing freight productivity. It is being designed to ultimately offer a hands-off/eyes-off experience to vehicles with advanced driving systems. Traditional vehicles without such innovations will still be able to use the connected and automated vehicle lane, with a simplified driving environment, increased travel time reliability and additional real-time information about the road ahead.
“Smart cars need smart roads,” states Maggie Shannon, Michigan Director at Cavnue. “It’s an incredible opportunity to partner with Michigan. One of the primary reasons we felt that Southeast Michigan was the ideal place to develop this first-of-its-kind project was due to the leadership that the public and private sector has demonstrated to innovate in mobility, with partners like Governor Whitmer, Director Ajegba and the MDOT team, County Executive Evans, Mayor Duggan, Trevor Pawl, Glenn Stevens and auto industry leaders like Ford.”
A feasibility study is currently underway with MDOT in Wayne and Washtenaw counties to evaluate all aspects of the project. Since launching last year, the Cavnue/MDOT team has met with over 400 stakeholders including elected officials, residents, advocates and local project partners. A concept of operations process in collaboration with MDOT is being developed to provide the framework for safe overall operations in a complex corridor. Additionally, Cavnue’s integrated technology and roadway solution prototype will initiate testing in Spring ‘22 in a closed proving grounds and in real-world settings to collect data on driving behavior.
Legislation is expected this winter to provide MDOT with the authority and flexibility they need to develop smarter roads in Michigan. Also expected this year is identification of an initial target deployment location to launch a community engagement effort and an environmental review process.
Cavnue has made several investments in Southeastern Michigan and continues to do so. Last year, they opened an office in Corktown with plans to expand the space in late 2021. They are also collaborating with University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute on various research projects revolving around autonomous vehicles and infrastructure. In 2022, Cavnue will test technology hardware on Interstate 96 express lanes with plans for additional investment in this infrastructure later. Also, within the next six to nine months, testing is expected to begin at the American Center for Mobility and Mcity.
Cavnue aims to build the world’s most advanced roadways by combining technology and infrastructure. As a result, roads are safer, more efficient, and more reliable to provide high-quality public transportation. They provide solutions to the ever-evolving mobility needs of the 21st century to reach the full potential of autonomous and connected vehicles as America’s transportation continues to progress.