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Smart cars need smart roads

Smart-Self-Driving-Cars-Smart-Roads-thefutureparty
Smart cars // Illustration by Kate Walker

Smart cars need smart roads

 

Future. Smart cars are being built at top speeds, but the roads are still lagging behind. Cavnue wants to change that by building corridors (blocked off lanes) on highways specifically for connected and autonomous vehicles. Their construction could finally allow drivers to not look at the road… potentially turning cars into on-the-go offices or entertainment spaces.

Smart Asphalt

The best way to mainstream smart cars is by updating the roads they drive on.

  • Axios reports that a startup called Cavnue hopes to create corridors (called CAVs) on highways that would be specifically for autonomous vehicles.
  • It would have roadside sensors to “communicate” with vehicles so that they are aware of road conditions, hazards, or weather changes up ahead.
  • The corridors will be charged like toll roads, but with dynamic pricing to account for congestion, time of day, or why the vehicle is being used.

No hands, no eyes

Cavnue has already raised $130 million to scale its ambitions, counting investors such as Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners and Ford. The company’s first project is with the Michigan Department of Transportation, to develop a 25-mile segment of Interstate 94 outside of Detroit… which could also act as a test case in rolling out a slate of other features to upgrade transportation.

Axios notes that Cavnue’s corridors will initially work with vehicles that have a Level 2 hands-free assisted driving system, which cars made by Cadillac, Ford, and Tesla have. In the CAVs, drivers would be able to take both “their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road” (they can only do the first on current highways).

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