Self-Driving Cars to Cross US/Canada Border

Two self-driving vehicles will travel more than 300 miles before arriving in Traverse City as part of an international border demonstration by Continental and Magna International Inc. The demonstration will start in southeast Michigan and culminate at the Center for Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminars.


The automated driving vehicles will cross into Windsor, Ontario before going north to Sarnia, Ontario and return back into Michigan. The first cross-border demonstration of its kind, this drive allows Continental and Magna, as well as the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), to test automated driving technology in a variety of settings.

Through Continental’s Cruising Chauffeur function, the vehicles will be able to take over driving tasks on various roadways in accordance with traffic regulations. Once Cruising Chauffeur is activated, data analyzed in a central control unit called Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit (ADCU) is used to generate a 360-degree model of the vehicle’s surroundings. In combination with a high-resolution map, the system recognizes all moving and static objects, as well as the layout of the roadway ahead.

The drive will demonstrate how the vehicles’ multiple camera, radar and LiDAR sensors will interact while being driven underwater through the concrete Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and across the steel Blue Water Bridge. Continental’s worldwide development of automated driving includes six key elements: sensor technology, cluster connectivity, human-machine dialog, system architecture, reliability and the acceptance of automated driving.

To mark the event as the latest example of partnerships in the Great Lakes region, 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.

This is the second such agreement between Michigan and Ontario, with this most recent partnership aimed at exploring rules and regulations, as well as data collection and sharing.


Both Michigan and Ontario have taken steps to ensure the region remains competitive as the automotive landscape evolves. In 2016, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a package of bills enabling automated vehicles to operate on roads across the state. That same year, Ontario became the first province to set a regulatory framework to permit testing of automated vehicles, making it the only province to have an automated vehicle pilot program in Canada. Ontario and Michigan’s long-standing history of collaboration is not only driving innovation within the auto industry, but connecting businesses across the border and advancing both countries’ knowledge-based economies. These moves will help ensure that the Great Lakes Automotive cluster emerge as the epicenter of automotive innovation.

The following agencies assisted with the coordination of crossing the international borders: Canadian Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Detroit Windsor Tunnel, MDOT Blue Water Bridge, Canada Border Services Agency and Federal Bridge Corporation.

To follow the automated driving vehicles journey on social media use hashtag #Automated2TC.