by Industry Week | Technology
Welcome to Mcity, the 'Outdoor Lab' for Automated Vehicles. This weeks report by Industry Week show the extent of preparation being put in place as the public prepare for the next state of automobile manufacture.
|Mcity: the outdoor lab for automated vehicles.|
(Credit: via Industry Week).
According to the Industry Week, Mcity can easily become more complex as the streets-cape's terrain is constantly shifting, from “meandering gravel road” to “brick paver road,” to “straight gravel roadway.”
Built in Ann Abor, in the US State of Michichgan Mcity is not static. Instead, it is fortified with High-tech instruments that collect data on traffic activity via wireless, fiber optics, ethernet and a “real-time kinematic positioning system.”
Mcity opened this week. In it the testing facility doesn't measure performance and durability. Those kinds of tests are left to be conducted inside the factories. The lab instead analyzes how connected vehicles react to real-life situations, as its oddly placed crosswalks and 120 road signs with dents and graffiti attest.
It is made up of a network of winding roads, built up over the past two years in a 32-acre field in Ann Arbor, Michigan, costing $10 million (£6.4m). Mcity is a “test environment for automated vehicles of the future.”
In it, automotive researchers can bring connected and automated vehicles for testing long before they hit the real road. “Automated” refers to vehicles with some driverless features, but not fully driverless or “autonomous,” say Peter Sweatman director of the U-M Mobility Transportation Center (MTC).
Sweatman said Mcity “..is not a test track, it’s a test environment for automated vehicles of the future,”. By automated, he means vehicles that have some automated features but are not fully driverless—not yet, at least.
“We can test vehicles here in Mcity, then move them onto the streets of Ann Arbor.” he said.