Analysis: Will intelligent roads finally move self-driving cars into fast lane?

Disillusioned by the limited progress of in-car technology, companies are shifting their attention from self-driving vehicles to the roads they will drive on. The goal is to accelerate the time taken to bring AVs to market – perhaps dramatically.

One of the most ambitious examples of this new focus is in Michigan, US, where Ford and General Motors (GM) have their respective headquarters. It’s also where Michigan State and Cavnue, an infrastructure start-up owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, last year announced a partnership to build the world’s first large-scale AV-dedicated roads.

The project covers the 40 miles between Detroit and Ann Arbor. The premise is to deploy AVs more quickly by using infrastructure to overcome unsolved problems with existing technology…

Collin Castle, intelligent transportation systems programme manager at Michigan Department of Transportation, is similarly buoyant. He has told the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast he hopes to see the Detroit-to-Ann Arbor road “fully implemented, and services thriving” in five years.