Having a highway dedicated to self-driving cars might improve testing while also allowing early adopters 1,885 miles of road to drive on unhindered.
That’s what one North Dakota resident, Marlo Anderson, is arguing. Anderson runs a talk show called ‘The Tech Ranch,” and is backed by the Central North Trade Corridor Association (CNATCA), who want to see US Route 83 altered to only allow autonomous vehicles.
The highway stretches from the Canadian province of Manitoba all the way down to Laredo, Texas, which touches the Mexican border. It runs due south through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
CNATCA claims that Highway 83 is underused, and making it a self-driving highway might perk up investors, enthusiasts, and developers to become more active, which may improve trade on the highway.
The difficulty comes in state laws regarding autonomous cars. Route 83 runs through seven states and a Canadian province, all of which have different laws on self-driving. That might become difficult for the driver, if they need to adjust every few hundred miles.
Self-driving vehicle laws are varied
Anderson and CNATCA want to see the highway open next year for self-driving cars. While only seven states support these cars on the road right now, more states are anticipated to follow later this year.
“Our areas are all kind of landlocked. Our country was founded east to west so, generally speaking, trying to go north south is really, really difficult,” Anderson said.
Google, Tesla, General Motors, and Ford are all testing self-driving cars and software. Tesla even launched some autonomous features on its Model S, and surprisingly didn’t receive a lot of regulation flak for it.
The first city to fully adopt self-driving might not be in the United States however, as NuTonomy, a MIT startup, is very close to getting approval for a self-driving taxi fleet in Singapore.