Traffic on I-5
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Traffic on I-5
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Driverless semi-trucks on I-5? It's a good place to test that idea, report says

Interstate 5 through Washington and Oregon is the best place in the U.S. for so-called driverless trucks to start running.

That's according to a new report by the Kirkland-based traffic data company INRIX.

The report said the corridor from Vancouver, B.C. to Northern California has advantages for these automated vehicles because of its long length, low congestion and high freight volume.

INRIX said automated vehicles could cut truck-related accidents and result in labor savings for companies.

The second-ranked route was I-95 from Jacksonville, Fla., to Miami. INRIX ranked it behind I-5 because of its shorter length and higher congestion.

The report also studied routes in the United Kingdom and Germany, which it said are both facing big shortages of drivers.

But the report said that the U.S. could see a big return on the technology because it would take the place of more long-haul drivers. The U.S. also faces a labor shortage in that industry, the study said.

Various companies have been testing driverless cars, but early results have been met with skepticism, and commercial uses are expected to come online before self-driving private passenger cars are released.