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Driverless lanes being studied for Hon Hai's Wisconsin plant

2017/11/14 18:38:05

Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) State highway planners in the U.S. are reportedly studying the possibility of including special lanes for driverless cars on Interstate 94 (I-94) to accommodate the needs of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which recently signed a deal to build a state-of-the-art flat panel plant in the state of Wisconsin.

According to a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published on Monday, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce is working with state highway planners to expand the I-94 and improve local roads in order to address traffic challenges for the 13,000 individuals Hon Hai is reportedly going to employ in Wisconsin at its new plant.

Among the plans being considered is one that would designate traffic lanes specifically for driverless, or autonomous, vehicles at the suggestion of the Taiwanese manufacturing giant, which is known as Foxconn internationally.

Michael Pyritz, spokesman for the Department of Transportation's southeast region, said that autonomous vehicle lanes are something the department is looking at and it is on the table, though "there's a lot of stuff on the table."

At the moment, the special lanes are only being studied for their feasibility and no plans have been set in motion to actually introduce them, the report pointed out.

One possibility, according to Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, is to have driverless lanes between the Hon Hai plant and Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport to move supplies and products to and from the plant.

Hon Hai's 20 million square feet (185.8 hectare) plant is set to occupy a semi-rural area of Racine County, Wisconsin, which is why traffic lanes and transportation are a key concern for the business.

Once built, the flat screen plant will manufacture 8K high definition panels plus 5G technology ecosystems in Wisconsin, to roll out the most sophisticated flat screens in the world, according to a previous Hon Hai statement.

(By Chung Jung-feng and Kuan-lin Liu)
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