The State of Michigan is planning to redesign its road network to accommodate driverless cars, according to a report on CNN.
Authorities in the state refer back to the area’s history as the home of some of the world’s largest automotive companies and factories.
The city of Detroit, Michigan used to known as “Motor City” in decades gone by, inspiring the name of the famous record label “Motown”, which launched the careers and made global stars of singers such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Queen Latifah, Erykah Badu, and Michael Jackson.
But those days are long gone and the city has fallen into disrepair and had went into bankruptcy after the financial crisis of 2008.
Now, however, state authorities want to try and rekindle something of the relationship it has with cars and mobility through its provision of specially set aside roads for new, increasingly autonomous and electric vehicles.
As part of the plan, Michigan will retrofit approximately 40 miles of roads just outside Detroit especially for autonomous cars, which at the moment have been mostly restricted to limited tests on public roads.
Numerous companies involved in developing autonomous cars are partnering with Michigan. They include GM, BMW, Ford, Waymo, TuSimple and Toyota, among others. Also, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, a company backed by Alphabet, parent company of Google, is also involved.
Michigan chief mobility officer Trevor Pawl told CNN Business: “We believe this is a transformative project for Michigan, and globally.
“Mobility is foundational to our city’s history and critical to our future.” He noted there have been almost 10,000 fatal car crashes in Michigan in the last decade, adding that he expected self-driving vehicles to improve safety.”
The roads pencilled for retrofit include parts on Interstate 94 and Michigan Avenue (main picture, courtesy of Strange Unicorn).