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I-94 Connected and Automated Vehicle Pilot Project

Key Information

Location: Westbound I-94 from Belleville to Rawsonville roads

Length: 3 Miles

Pilot Details: Three lanes will be maintained for traffic during peak travel times while creating a technology-enabled express lane using the existing left lane. There will be flexible posts separating the middle and far left lane for vehicle testing during off-peak hours. Poles outfitted with cameras, radar sensors and wireless radio equipment are being installed in the median of I-94. No personal data will be collected during testing; all data collected is for evaluation of safety and mobility technologies.

Anticipated Construction: August 2023 - Spring 2024

Anticipated Start of Pilot Operations: Spring 2024

Anticipated End of Pilot Operations: December 2025

I-94 Connected & Automated Vehicle (CAV) Corridor Proposed Project Information

I-94 CAV Corridor Project FAQs

  • The pilot is a technology-enabled express lane on I-94 that will be used for testing a combination of physical and digital infrastructure to improve roadway safety and expand the benefits of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). The design and development of this pilot is a joint effort between MDOT, Cavnue, and industry partners.

    The pilot will allow the partners to learn, test and validate the technology deployed, with the goal of building on these insights to develop a larger first-of-its-kind connected corridor along I-94. This broader project, called the I-94 CAV corridor, will aim to improve safety, reduce congestion and emissions, and accelerate the benefits of CAVs.

  • The pilot will be operational in early spring 2024. The operational phase of the pilot is expected to last approximately two years, through 2025.

  • The lane will be open to all road users, including electric vehicles and transit vehicles. The only road users who will not be able to use the express lane are semi-trucks, which will continue to use the right two lanes as they do now.

  • Once operational, the pilot is not anticipated to have a significant impact on traffic or create additional congestion during the morning and evening rush hours. The main difference noticeable to drivers will be flexible posts separating the middle and far left lane.

  • No, this pilot is for testing purposes only. There will be no charge to drivers who use the express lane.

  • Cavnue, a private company, is paying for the design, permitting, and construction on I-94, as well as providing the pilot’s digital infrastructure.

  • The pilot will allow MDOT, Cavnue, and other industry partners to evaluate how this combination of digital and physical infrastructure can improve safety and mobility for all road users and unlock the full benefits of CAVs.

  • Cavnue will perform testing with industry partners with the option to close the left lane during off-peak hours. Motorists will be notified of lane closures in advance via digital freeway signs.

    During the off-peak testing periods, the express lane will be closed to commuting traffic while professional drivers test a number of different scenarios that will help MDOT and its partners better understand the performance and effectiveness of the pilot’s physical and digital infrastructure.

    The testing will only involve the dedicated test vehicles. Normal road users, including the drivers of CAVs, will not be impacted by the testing.

  • The entrance for the pilot will be at Belleville Road; the exit will be at Rawsonville Road. 

  • Signs will notify drivers of the beginning and ending of the express lane. 

  • No, the Belleville Rest Area will still be accessible by using the right lane of westbound I-94. New signs will be installed to inform users to access the rest area from the right lane.

  • This pilot is designed to enhance the safety and performance of CAVs, which are vehicles that (1) send and/or receive information to and from outside sources and (2) automate the driving task. Many vehicles today have different levels of connectivity and automation, and these features that make vehicles smarter are expected to advance rapidly in the future.

  • The pilot will deploy poles that include Cavnue’s proprietary kit of cameras, radar sensors, and wireless radio equipment.

  • No personal data will be collected through the pilot.

  • For this pilot, we are using flexible delineators to separate the left lane from the middle and right lanes to minimize points where vehicles can enter and exit the left lane during testing.

    Having physical separation for the lane will also allow the lane to be closed during off-peak hours without closing two lanes to place barrels. This will keep traffic flowing efficiently and reduce the impact on road users.

  • Flexible delineators are designed to cause minimal damage to vehicles.

  • Emergency vehicles can respond to an incident in the lane by driving over the flexible delineators, if needed.

  • Maintenance vehicles will use the entrance and exit points for the lane. If they need to respond to an emergency, they will drive over the flexible delineator. We do not expect any issues with snow removal or salting; those processes will continue as normal.

  • The left lane will have an adequate shoulder for disabled vehicles to use while waiting for assistance.

  • Maintenance activities will continue as they do today with no interruption.