<p><strong><em>Image courtesy of the University of Michigan.</em></strong></p>

VIDEO: University of Michigan Will Build Driverless-Car Utopia

This summer will see construction of a new outdoor test facility for autonomous and networked vehicles on the north campus of the University of Michigan.

The simulated town, located on 32 acres, will include a city center and four-lane highway, university officials said. U-M's Mobility Transformation Center will operate the facility, which will allow researchers to test self-driving cars in challenging road conditions.

The facility will also feature merge lanes, stoplights, intersections, roundabouts, road signs, a railroad crossing, building facades, construction barrels and eventually a mechanical pedestrian.

Michigan engineering researchers will initially use the facility to conduct tests on an automated Ford Fusion hybrid. Ford Motor Co. and U-M researchers are collaborating on developing sensors and mapping technology for the car.

Other industry members of the Mobility Transformation Center already include Bosch, Econolite, General Motors, Toyota and Xerox.

To watch a NewsyTech video report about the test facility, click on the photo or link above.