Engineering 101

Will the US freeways get a driverless vehicle lane?

US motorists living life in the driverless fast lane


The possibilities of placing driverless vehicle lanes on the freeway has been a hot topic amongst Wisconsin highway planners, as they aim to get driverless lanes on I-94 to serve Foxconn’s mega factory in Racine County.

The Taiwanese company – supplier to tech firms including Apple, Microsoft, and Nintendo – reportedly made the suggestion at a meeting with regional officials, according to USA Today’s Journal Sentinel.

Foxconn’s $10bn midwest facility will span 20 million square feet and could create up to 13,000 jobs.

Foxconn’s $10bn midwest facility will span 20 million square feet.

Prepping for traffic

That’s an awful lot of humans commuting back and forth from work.

And that’s before you take into account the goods getting hauled in.

As the I-94 highway is getting a bump from six to eight lanes anyway, regional officials figured they were prepared for the uptick in traffic.

Uber and Waymo

Companies like Uber and Waymo are trialling self-driving vehicles on roads across the US.

There’s also been talk of dedicated lanes for robocars (and trucks).

Last year, VC firm Madrona Ventures floated the idea for replacing the I-5 freeway between Seattle and Vancouver with an ‘autonomous vehicle’ corridor.

However, Foxconn’s desire to yield regular car lanes to driverless vehicles could be a way off yet.

A spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation told the Journal Sentinel that the proposal is just one of many ‘on the table’.

One possibility, according to Tim Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, is driverless lanes between the Foxconn plant and Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport.

Source Engadget

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