University of Michigan, Industry Partners Team Up For New Technology Testing Facility

university of michigan industry partners team up for new technology testing facility

The University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center and its partners will soon break ground on a $6.4 million facility meant to test connected and autonomous vehicles in a simulacrum of an everyday urban environment.

Automotive News reports the 5-mile Mobility Transformation Facility — located on 32 acres at the university’s North Campus Research Complex in Ann Arbor, Mich. — will be designed and constructed in cooperation with the state’s Department of Transportation, with private funding to come from the likes of Ford, General Motors, Bosch and Xerox in the form of $1 million payouts made by each investor involved over the next three years.

As for the facility itself, whose goal is to help bring about a commercially viable system of connected and autonomous vehicles, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute spokeswoman Francine Romine says it will look “more like a movie set complete with fake buildings, intersections, streetlights and other obstacles like construction barriers specially tested for automated technology.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the MTF will occur in-sync with the ITS World Congress in September 2014.

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