A ghost town to test autonomous cars

Michigan’s-Mobility-Transformation-CenterWork began in Ann Arbor, Michigan small town. Soon will develop its suburbs a replica of its road infrastructure. A small town without inhabitant where Carmakers can test their autonomous vehicles safely. Because if it’s simple enough to test these new generation vehicles on roads or motorways, it is in the jungle of the cities that these four-wheeled robots may encounter more complex problems to handle. At Ann Arbor, manufacturers will be able to crumple the plate safely, away from photographers and the trial.

Ann Arbor, the city test of motor technology in the United States


The “ghost town” that MTC is building in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Town of 114,000 people of Michigan, Ann Arbor is well known to those who follow a little motor technologies news. It is there that is installed the University of Michigan and this is including that the Mobility processing Center researchers test technologies of vehicles of tomorrow. They tested in the streets of the city the V2V communications concepts on a few hundred several thousands of vehicles and road infrastructure. Soon, it will be 20,000 communicating vehicles that roll in Ann Arbor. But if such tests on a large scale are possible on V2V technology whose purpose is above all to strengthen the safety of vehicles, impossible to test cars to conduct autonomous way. This is the reason why the MTC is trying to build a ghost town. City without beings humans where autonomous cars may sport in a sterile urban environment, without any risk. This amazing infrastructure should be operational in the spring of 2015 and there is urgency! Mercedes-Benz has indeed to obtain the right to use the infrastructure of a former naval base decommissioned in Concord, California. 850 hectares and 31.5 km of roads to test Bertha, his prototype of Mercedes class S robotic. The University of Michigan is among its partners Delphi Automotive, Denso, Econolite, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Iteris, Nissan, Bosch, Toyota, Verizon, Xerox and an insurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance. Sources : “Mercedes-Benz to Test Its Robocar at Abandoned Naval Base”, IEEESpectrum, October 7, 2014 “U-M Mobility Transformation Center announces founding corporate partners”, MTC press release, September 5, 2014

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