Self-Driving Cars Will Navigate the U.S.-Canada Border

It looks like we will soon see a major breakthrough for self-driving vehicles. An upcoming test is to be conducted on and around the border between the U.S. and Canada to demonstrate how well these vehicles handle multi-country travel routes. The automotive suppliers Continental and Manga will be conducting the test, with two driverless cars traveling between the U.S. state of Michigan and the Canadian city of Sarnia. At long last, we should see how self-driving vehicles handle borders.

Cross-Border Driverless Vehicles Are Coming

Tests for self-driving cars are often limited to the country in which they started the journey. For example, a car connected with a test taking place in California could not travel to Canada or Mexico. That is a bit disconcerting, but the situation will be changing very soon. Magna and Continental will soon test driverless vehicles traveling the border between the U.S. and Canada.

According to the information we have received, both companies will be experimenting with two self-driving cars. They will start their journeys in Michigan and ride all the way to Sarnia, located in Ontario. The vehicles will remain in full control for the entire route, using cameras, radar, and Lidar to take over whenever possible. It will be especially interesting to see how they handle the border crossings along the way. Human drivers will be on board just in case things go awry.

Plenty of attention will be paid to the results of this experiment. Should this test prove successful, it would create a new framework and rule set for self-driving data collection. Knowing that a vehicle can successfully navigate important border crossings would be significant. It would not be a complete disaster should this test fail, however, but we all hope the companies will succeed in their objective.

Making autonomous vehicles practical is still a very big challenge. A lot of progress has been made already, but there is still an incredible amount of work to be done. A successful outcome of this test would invigorate the industry and change the way regulators tackle this entire concept at this stage. There are still a lot of details waiting to be worked out. Crossing national borders will become a trend associated with autonomous vehicles sooner or later. The more these vehicles can handle on their own, the better.

What is more, every country has its own signage, speed requirements, and units of measurements. For the time being, it is unknown whether the onboard hardware and software are capable of handling such drastic changes. These might seem like trivial challenges, but this is something that will need to be tested and overcome. 

Self-driving vehicles will come to market soon. Making these vehicles as smart as possible is still the number-one objective for companies in this sector. It will be interesting to see how the industry evolves over the coming years. Letting one’s car do all of the work when traveling abroad would be a serious game changer.