University of Michigan Opens Artificial City for Testing Driverless Cars

Previously, the University had made a promise that it will support the development of connected and autonomous autos by providing a facility. And the promise was kept. The provided facility appears to be a simulated environment sized 32 acres and includes roads, intersections, streetlights, traffic signals and signs, obstacles, building facades, and sidewalks.

The facility is called Mcity and was developed the University together with the Michigan Department of Transportation. The testing of vehicles in the facility will be repeatable and rigorous, so the technology will be thoroughly checked before the vehicles appear on road.

Mcity is designed to support not only self-driving autos but also the technology of “talking cars”, in particular, vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle. The project is funded by 15 leadership members, investing $1 million within three years, and 33 affiliates each of which invests $150,000 within three years.

The representative of the project told that making autos automated and connected is very important in terms of making them safer, more energy-efficient and accessible. He also shared his opinion that these technologies will make living in cities and suburbs much better, serving as a bridging stage to the 21st century.