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Wisconsin DOT looks into driver-less cars for Foxconn

The Wisconsin Department of Transporation says with the Foxconn contract finalized, both parties need to get the supply lines ready to go.

"They'll be able to get their supplies in, we'll be able to get our supplies in and get the roads rebuilt," WisDOT Southeast Communications Manager Michael Pyritz said. The frontage roads are going to need to be rebuilt along that stretch as well to accommodate the high levels of traffic that will be taking place around those developments."

The state plans on finishing all that and expanding I-94 to four lanes in each direction from the Mitchel Interchange down to the Illinois state line. It's supposed to be finished in three years.

"It's all going to be pushing together in a short period of time, which is both very exciting, and very daunting," Pyritz said.

And one more thing. Foxconn wants driver-less cars involved.

"There has been some interest by Foxconn to have that incorporated in this project. The department is very open, and we're very interested in incorporating, whether it's just infrastructure, or whatever it would really take."

UW has an automated testing program. In fact,  it's home to one of ten designated testing areas set by the US Department of Transportation.
Program Director Peter Rafferty says the program has set the state up well for the request.

"I do think we're very well positioned, and Governor Walker, and others in the legislature have been very supportive in removing barriers to the safe testing of these technologies."

Rafferty says we're a long way away from seeing a fully automated highway system, but he thinks there is automated trucking technology that could theoretically be used by Foxconn by the end of this year.

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