US: Michigan has a new autonomous testing ground, opening next week image

The University of Michigan has scheduled an official inauguration to its new testing facility for connected and autonomous vehicles for Monday next week.

Dubbed Mcity, the 32-acre testing grounds have been designed and developed to simulate and mimic real-life urban and suburban roads with a network of controlled intersections, traffic signals, streetlights, sidewalks, construction obstacles and other elements, according to a statement from the university. The test track, worth $6.5 million is going to be operated by UM’s Mobility Transformation Center and is part of a larger, $22 million, federally funded pilot test that seeks to study further connected and driverless vehicle technologies at the university. The major global automakers and behemoth technology companies such as Google or smallish startups such as Israel’s Mobileye have set their sights on autonomous and connected driving. The autonomous sector is set to completely reshape automotive transportation in the near future, while connected and driverless technologies are seen by governments as a way of reducing traffic accidents by eliminating one of the major causes – human error.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has been implicated in the research and development of connected and self-driving technologies since 2012 when it established a safety pilot program, which included the use of cars, commercial vans, buses and motorcycles that had on board transmitters and data-logging devices to track position, acceleration and velocity of vehicles and infrastructure. Today there are around 9,000 vehicles with such features, in and around the Ann Arbor area. The Monday even will include demonstrations from local and global suppliers and project partners, such as Bosch, Delphi and Denso.

Via Automotive News Europe