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Proposed highway lane for self-driving cars would link Seattle and Vancouver

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A venture capital firm envisions replacing HOV lanes with lanes just for autonomous vehicles

There’s no question that self-driving vehicles are the future. But Seattle-based venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group is hoping to get the jump on the autonomous car future by proposing one of the country’s first dedicated self-driving car lanes, running along I-5 between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Madrona envisions the lane completing over the next 5 to 15 years, starting with introducing autonomous cars into the HOV lane. Eventually, the lane would be entirely reserved for self-driving vehicles.

The roughly two-and-a-half-hour trip in question connects two of North America’s growing tech hubs. Seattle has long been home to Amazon and Microsoft—tech behemoths that have both opened large satellite offices in Vancouver in the past ten years. But Vancouver is also a rising startup city in its own right.

Connecting these two centers with a dedicated autonomous vehicle lane would improve the link between the cities while costing significantly less than a proposed $30 billion high speed train line.

"Committing to this vision would not only benefit all who use this corridor but would also demonstrate to the world our Cascadia region’s status as a leading global center of innovation where governments and private enterprises can work in partnership to solve human problems," writes the Madrona team in its report.