ANN ARBOR — A brand new facility for testing the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies opened Monday in Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center (MTC) announced the opening of Mcity Monday morning. The 32 acre, $10 million simulated urban and suburban environment includes a network of roads and intersections complete with the every–day obstacles and signage found on the average street.

“This is really a one–of–a–kind facility because it’s got a dedicated traffic control network,” said Jim Sayer, Development Director at the MTC. “It has signs and roadways that can be changed, adjusted. We can move lane markings. We can replace signs. We can take them away altogether.”

Officials say the facility is designed to support rigorous testing of connected vehicle technologies before they hit the streets and highways.

“The types of technologies that will be tested out here are both connected, so vehicles communicating with other vehicles, even around blind corners, as well as to the infrastructure. So, getting information about when the light is going to turn yellow or when it’s going to turn green, and then, various levels of automation all the way up to fully autonomous,” Sayer added.

“We believe that this transformation to connected and automated mobility will be a game–changer,” said Peter Sweatman, Director of the MTC.

Click here to find out more about MTC and Mcity.

[Photo courtesy University of Michigan]