U of Michigan's MCity Autonomous Car Proving Grounds Opening to the Public

The world of autonomous cars en masse is coming, and fast. But where will all of the testing be done? The recent string of fender-benders in Google cars proves that not all self-driving tech can be developed on the open road. That is where a new University of Michigan facility could play a crucial role.

It is called MCity, and is being dubbed as a one-of-a-kind autonomous vehicle research facility. MCity is opening for a public reception Thursday, July 23 from 4-8pm. The facility is located 2909 Baxter Road on the University’s North Campus in Ann Arbor. The details of what would go on during this public showing were not available, but according to the report from mlive.com, no autonomous vehicles will be on exhibition.

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MCity is a 32-acre driving environment that is meant to simulate urban and suburban driving. It will feature intersections, traffic lights, sidewalks, building facades, and different types of obstacles.

U of Michigan's MCity Autonomous Car Proving Grounds Opening to the Public

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“Connected and automated vehicle technology will usher in a revolution in the mobility of people and goods comparable to that sparked by the introduction of the automobile a century ago,” said   Peter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center.

The MTC is a partnership between the university and companies like Desno, Delphi, Honda, Ford, General Motors, Toyota and more. The MCT is charged with the development of the MCity self-driving facility.

The goal of MCity is to further develop connected cars, and autonomous vehicle infrastructure. The hope is to develop a connected, automated mobility system in southeastern Michigan by 2021. This location will be a key component in seeing that become a reality, and if you live near Ann Arbor, you can check it out for yourself on Thursday afternoon.

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Image Credit: mlive.com, jovindsa/Panoramio


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