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May 27, 2015 11:00 AM, EDT

Self-Driving Truck Corridor From Mexico to Canada Proposed

Freightliner Trucks

A trade group recently proposed the creation of a corridor for self-driving trucks to deliver freight without passports or visas from Mexico to Canada, CBC reported.

The Central North American Trade Corridor Association is planning a study into the feasibility of the route that would run along Route 83, through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, according to the Canadian news agency.

"You have to flesh it out and take care of all the intricacies, but it's definitely worthwhile looking into it," Roy Ludwig, mayor of Estevan in southeastern Saskatchewan near the border, told CBC.

"I would support the new technologies and see where they go," Ludwig said.

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The association wants to travel to communities along the corridor to gain support and is hopeful it can work with the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments to streamline border crossings.

Autonomous truck technology is being pushed by companies like Daimler, which recently introduced a self-driving truck, and the manufacturer is pushing for governments to speed approval of the technology.

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“Whoever has the regulatory framework in place” will be the first to get autonomous vehicles, said Wolfgang Bernhard, head of Daimler’s global truck and bus unit.

FREIGHTLINER VIDEO: Self-driving truck unveiling

Volvo Trucks expects convoys of trucks electronically linked to a lead truck in only a few years and has been testing the concept in Europe since 2009.

The short distance between vehicles boosts fuel economy through less wind drag and lessens the workload for other drivers.

The company is lobbying for passage of legislation in California to ease tailgating regulations for automated vehicles, setting the stage for actual demonstrations, likely limited to two trucks and on stretches of highways with open terrain.

Advancements in connectivity will bring the first truck platoons to U.S. highways in the near future, paving the way for radical changes in the freight transportation network, executives with Volvo Group said.

Connectivity is “changing the industry and the way we work and the way we communicate,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks in North America.