Continental and Magna International, along with the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, plan to showcase two automated-driving vehicles in the first cross-international border demonstration of its kind.

“The MDOT team is happy to support the auto industry and job providers as they keep Michigan in its historical position as the world’s leader in mobility,” MDOT Director Kirk T. Steudle says.

“Today’s cross-border demonstration of an automated vehicle represents unprecedented collaboration between two nations and private industry.”

The self-driving vehicles will begin in southeast Michigan and travel for more than 300 miles (483 km) before arriving in Traverse City at the Center for Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminars.

Then, the vehicles will cross into Windsor, ON, Canada before going to Sarnia, ON, and returning back to Michigan.

“Ontario is proud to be part of North America’s first national, cross-border test drive in our Automated Vehicle Pilot Program,” says Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation-Ontario.

“Today’s test drive is a great example of the continued collaboration and innovation between Ontario and Michigan.”

Continental’s Cruising function will allow the vehicles to take over driving tasks on various roadways in accordance with traffic regulations.

Each automated vehicle will use a central computer called Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit to generate a 360-degree model of its surroundings.

“Continental has been testing automated driving on public roads for more than five years and our approach is a global initiative. The engineering teams are spread across locations in the U.S., Europe, China and Japan to ensure driving and safety functions can be easily adapted to the individual regions as one comprehensive team effort,” says Jeff Klei, president-Continental North America.

MDOT and OMT will sign a memorandum of understanding at the drive’s completion to further promote and foster growth of connected and autonomous technology testing and deployment, supporting both Michigan and Ontario’s economic interests and technological advancements by enabling job-creating growth for both jurisdictions, the groups say.

“The new agreement signed today with Michigan perfectly illustrates Ontario’s commitment to strengthening our partnerships across the United States,” says Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth. 

“We’re proud to be leveraging our shared ties to enhance a crucial, growing sector, and ensure a good future for workers in Ontario and Michigan alike.”

Michigan and Ontario’s progressive efforts to build connecting businesses across the border and to advance both countries’ knowledge-based economies helps to ensure the Great Lakes Automotive cluster emerges at the epicenter of automotive innovation.

Remi.murrey@penton.com