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Today’s Pickup: Successful autonomous vehicle test crosses border

 An autonomous car test between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, utilized technology from Magna.
An autonomous car test between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, utilized technology from Magna.

Good day,

Autonomous vehicles are alive and well, and now crossing borders. While many states have yet to authorize the testing of autonomous vehicles, a demonstration took place Monday between Michigan and Southern Ontario.

The test drive began in Detroit and continue into Windsor and Sarnia, Ontario, before returning to Traverse City, MI, where Ontario and Michigan signed a formal agreement to collaborate on testing, developing and marketing automated and connected vehicle technology.

Ontario’s Magna International and Michigan’s Continental Automotive North America provided the demonstration vehicles, which were a 2015 Cadillac ATS and Chrysler 300. The test was also designed to showcase the automotive expertise of the two areas. Combined, Ontario and Michigan produce 26% of all North American vehicles and total automotive trade between the countries was $46 billion in 2016.

“The blueprint for border testing is being developed right here in Michigan and Ontario. We value our relationship with Ontario and look forward to further collaboration as this technology continues to evolve, said Kirk T. Steudle, Michigan State Transportation Director.

Did you know?

The federal electronic stability control law went into effect on Monday. (Click to read more on the law). NHTSA estimate the law will save up to 49 lives, prevent up to 1,759 crashes each year, and provide net economic benefits of more than $300 million annually.


“[Monday’s] demonstration is an important example of how our ongoing cross-border cooperation is advancing connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. Our government is committed to creating new good middle-class jobs, growth and long-term prosperity that will position Canada as a global center for automotive innovation. By continuing to work with the United States, we will equip our citizens with the skills they need to design and build the cars of the future on both sides of the border.”

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada, on a successful cross-border autonomous vehicle test.

In other news:

ELD makers expecting a sales surge as deadline approaches

ELD makers are preparing for a surge in sales, particularly among smaller fleets, as the deadline for the devices approaches. (

Schneider profits rise

Schneider National reported a 5.2% increase in second-quarter profit and an 8.1% increase in revenue. Net income was $46.5 million. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

Manufacturing continues upward trend

U.S. manufacturing activity increased for the 11th straight month, although the U.S. manufacturing activity index fell slightly in July to 56.3, down from 57.8 in June, the Institute for Supply Management said. Any reading over 50 indicates growth. (Wall Street Journal)

Startup look to build micro-fulfillment centers

A startup company is hoping to improve e-commerce operations for small retailers with new micro-fulfillment centers. CommonSense Robotics just landed $6 million in seed funding to make that happen. (TechCrunch)

New York considering tech to catch texters

New York state is considering new technology that would allow it identify drivers who are texting while driving. (Land Line Magazine)

Final Thoughts

The news that Michigan and Ontario successfully completed an autonomous vehicle cross-border test on Monday is a great display of cooperation between the neighbors, but it begs one question: Whose passport did it use to cross the border?

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.