In the first cross-border demonstration of its kind, two autonomous vehicles (AVs) have traveled more than 300 miles (483km) from the USA into Canada using the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and back again via Port Huron, as part of an international demonstration by Continental and Magna International Inc.
The demonstration featured Magna’s Cadillac ATS and Continental’s Chrysler 300 SAE Level 3 autonomous vehicles, and started in southeast Michigan, crossed the border into Windsor, before going north to Sarnia, Ontario and returned, arriving in Traverse City at the Center for Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminars. The demonstration allowed the automotive technology companies, as well as the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), to test automated driving technology in a variety of settings.
Using Continental’s Cruising Chauffeur system, the vehicles were able to take over driving tasks on various roadways in accordance with traffic regulations. Once Cruising Chauffeur was activated, data analyzed in its central Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit (ADCU) was used to generate a 360° model of the vehicles’ surroundings. In combination with a high-resolution map, the system recognizes all moving and static objects, as well as the layout of the roadway ahead. The drive demonstrated how the vehicles’ multiple camera, radar and lidar sensors interacted while being driven underwater through the concrete Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, and across the steel Blue Water Bridge.
To mark the event as the latest example of partnerships in the Great Lakes region, MDOT and MTO signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the drive’s completion to further promote and foster growth of connected and autonomous technology testing and deployment, supporting both region’s economic interests and technological advancements by enabling job-creating growth for both jurisdictions. This is the second such agreement between Michigan and Ontario, with this most recent partnership aimed at exploring rules and regulations, as well as data collection and sharing.
“With operations in both Ontario and Michigan, we can clearly see the benefits of cross-border collaboration as we have on this project,” said Tom Toma, global product manager at Magna. “And with our commitment to innovation and ongoing work in helping define the future mobility landscape, our involvement is a natural fit and we are pleased to join with our partners in this hands-free road trip.”
Kirk T Steudle, MDOT’s director, added, “Today’s cross-border demonstration of an automated vehicle represents unprecedented collaboration between two nations and private industry.”