A startup, Cavnue will build a first-of-its-kind 40-mile connected corridor in Michigan with dedicated lanes for autonomous vehicles.
FREMONT, CA: What comes first, the driverless vehicle or the driverless road? For years now, the autonomous vehicle community has been sure about the answer: It is the vehicle.
But in the mid of 2020, as the industry emerges from a sobering period defined by layoffs and consolidations, startups, investors, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) alike are starting to pay more attention to the physical, digital and regulatory infrastructure that will enable autonomous cars and trucks to move farther of the pilot phase and onto city streets and highways.
That effort got a massive boost last week with the declaration that Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP) is launching its first big project — a subsidiary, Cavnue to develop infrastructure for the connected and autonomous vehicles.
"We're building the road of the future," Mike Shapiro, vice president, SIP, told FreightWaves.
Government And Private Sector Joins Forces
SIP, backed by Alphabet Inc Google's parent company, and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, developed Cavnue after the state of Michigan issued a request for proposals for an autonomous vehicle corridor last year in April.
Heading a public-private collaboration, Cavnue will aid in building a high-tech 40-mile corridor between downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan, an area that encloses the Detroit airport, downtown, and considerable freight routes.
Industry partners consist of automakers Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda, BMW, and Toyota, together with startups Argo AI, Arrival, TuSimple and Waymo, the latter is also Alphabet-backed.
Mike Shapiro, Vice President, SIP, in a press release, mentioned that the initial focus will be on shared mobility and transit, and also an equity component that focuses on closing transportation gaps for underserved communities. However, at full implementation, the corridor will really accelerate freight and logistics as a key form factor and use case.