Marlo Anderson with the Central North American Trade Corridor Association says members support a plan for an autonomous vehicle corridor along Route 83, which runs north-south through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. The road then continues into Manitoba.
A study into the feasibility of the project is in the works and Anderson says the group will travel to educate communities along the corridor to gain support.
"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," he said.
That means other commodities, such as grain, need
to fight for space on trains. A separate corridor could relieve that pressure, according to Anderson.
"We're hopeful that, working with the Canadian government, the Mexican government, and the U.S., we can create some kind of automated way ... (to) streamline that process of border crossings."
The technology, though experimental, already exists in driverless vehicles that use tools such as GPS to navigate roads, Anderson said.
One of the concerns Anderson hears most often is that a vehicle's system could be hacked and taken over. "There have to be security measures in place so that doesn't happen."
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