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Group Proposes Cross Border Autonomous Truck Corridor

by Jana Ritter - Published: 5/25/2015

Just weeks after Daimler debuted the world’s first licensed self-driving semi at the Hoover Dam in Nevada, a plan is already in the works for an autonomous vehicle corridor running from Mexico, through the United States and up to Canada. Last week, members of the Central North American Trade Corridor Association met in North Dakota to discuss the reality of turning Route 83, which runs north-south through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and then continues up to the Canadian province of Manitoba, into a stream-lined freight route for self driving trucks.

                                                           Daimler Freightliner

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While some have balked at the idea calling the group “…driverless dreamers on crack”, Marlo Anderson of the Central North American Trade Corridor Association says that the idea is not too far-fetched and that members are already working to turn it into a reality. Anderson also said that he can understand why the concept of autonomous vehicles is still unnerving for people to comprehend but what many don’t realize is that they have the potential to be a lot safer by removing human error from driving. “What we have to do is to educate people,” says Anderson.

Anderson admits that one of the major valid concerns is the possibility of a computerized vehicle system being hacked and taken over. But his simple answer is that “there would have to be security measures in place so that doesn’t happen.” It is one of many areas that he says the group is planning to examine as they begin to study the feasibility of the project. Anderson also says that they plan to travel to communities located along the corridor in order to educate and gain public support. The group feels that once more people are aware of the need and realize that this corridor is a feasible solution, the more people will jump on board to give this project the go ahead. "One of the challenges we have here in North Dakota is that we have a lot of energy production going on right now, but not enough pipelines to carry the oil from North Dakota to its destination point," says Anderson. He explains that this has also created a situation where other commodities need to fight for space on trains and that a separate corridor could relieve that pressure. 

With the Freightliner model already leading by example, Anderson says that the technology already exists and that these vehicles are also equipped with advanced tools such as GPS to navigate roads. He projects that once the technology is fully developed, unmanned vehicles will be much more efficient by eliminating the current hours of service issues we have now. "They don't need to worry about a driver having too many hours in a day or in a week. Those types of things go by the wayside because the vehicle doesn't care," Anderson says. He also says that with the right plan in place, this corridor could also eliminate the long waits at the border crossings. "We're hopeful that, working with the Canadian government, the Mexican government, the United States, we can create some kind of automated way to streamline that process of border crossings."


Kate Campbell
Kate Campbell
Not across the border no.
Dean Crombie
Dean Crombie
No whr eventrains have people on board for any failures that may happen . Why take away ALL the jobs . Relly we can go to far and aready have in so many areas .
Donald Gough
Donald Gough
Never happen way to much room for fatal errors.
Jim Cook
Jim Cook
I think it will cause corporate investers will see a big bottom line after they take 5 to 6 million jobs away and don't have the over head of drivers insurance dispatchers company saftey men. I think it will happen just for that reason and not only will truckers loose jobs but the truck stops restaurants hotel ect that us drivers use will cut there staff or go out of business
Juan Campos
Juan Campos
Job killer n far out dangerous
Randy Rekow
Randy Rekow
More & more people, less & less work, by more & more businesses. I hear the rationalization for 'needing' this kind of stuff & understand every word they say & still gotta walk away thinking... "Morons! You're thinking the wrong direction. You're choosing profit over people, same direction as always. Profit is the goal for any business but when ya' leave jobs for humans out of the picture guess what?...we see that & somewhere inside it just don't smell right!
Randall L Stutler
Randall L Stutler
There worthless that's what trains are for
Tony Hanson
Tony Hanson
Absolutely not. Our society needs brick & mortar jobs. That would not only cut driver jobs but all those that support it. I still pay my bills with checks and mail them. Why? Because it keeps the printers in business and mail carriers and on and on. We need to keep our society alive and need those jobs.
Daniel Hadden
Daniel Hadden
Kill it with fire before it kills us. Who knows the car it runs over on the road first could have you children in it!
Pat Offenberger
Pat Offenberger
Then who would the customs agents have to screw with?
Donald Vest
Donald Vest
Who's going to secure the load we all know the customer damn sure don't know how