The University of Michigan has opened Mcity, a 32-acre simulated town to allow automakers to test autonomous vehicles.
The Ann Arbor facility was designed to test the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies that will lead the way toward mass-market driverless cars, according to the university.
The types of technologies that will be tested at the facility include connected technologies such as vehicles talking to other vehicles or to the infrastructure (known as V2V or V2I) and various levels of automation up to fully autonomous or driverless vehicles.
Mcity features merge lanes, stoplights, intersections, roundabouts, road signs, a railroad crossing, building facades, construction barriers and a mechanical pedestrian.
It is designed to support repeatable testing of new technologies before the driverless vehicles hit public streets and highways. The outdoor test facility is located on the university's north campus.
Mcity was developed by the University of Michigan's Motor Transformation Center (MTC) and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The center includes members such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Honda Motor Co., Navistar, Nissan Motor Co., and Toyota Motor Co.