The University of Michigan is launching a Mobility Transformation Facility this fall to test automated and wirelessly connected vehicles. The 32-acre facility will give researchers access to roadways, a four-lane highway, city streets with road signs, and street lights.
There will also be pop up pedestrians and mechanized bikes to simulate worst-case scenarios. The street lights could be programmed to turn completely off and bicycles could unexpectedly roll out from between parked cars.
These potential hazards will be put to the test to ensure all self-driving vehicles are safe. The research will be carried out with a Ford Fusion Hybrid as the test vehicle. General Motors and Toyota will also offer vehicles in the future.
The facility is expected to debut by 2021 and will include 3 deployments of up to 20,000 automated cars across southeast Michigan.