In what might appear as being close to the movie I Robot, Michigan now has a city that has plenty of mobile and fast robots delivering people to and fro. In an experimental way of course.
MCity is a 32-acre site that recreates Michigan’s roadways to serve as the testing ground for driverless car technologies. The technology is ramped up by technologists and governments worldwide because it can cut fatal auto crashes by 80%
Deserted and only a handful of people maintaining the city and performing the tests, MCity does have the façade of a downtown Michigan city with a bookshop and café painted to look like real places.
According to the Michigan University Transportation Research Institute Head Peter Sweatman, MCity will allow researchers to prove that autonomous vehicles are safe and will prevent plenty of accidents in the near future.
“MCity is all about accelerating the process of getting connected and automated mobility out on the public roads … and we’ve designed it specifically so we can learn very fast, and then get systems deployed,” he said
With 11 signalized intersections, a railroad crossing, a tunnel and a short freeway with on and off ramps, the roads prove challenging for self-driving cars.
Most research focus on seeing if the cars will recognise pedestrians. The cars will have to stop or else it would mean the failure of the test.
City officials said the project costs about $10 million to recreate the real-world playground to ensure the perfection, or at least the stable performance of autonomous vehicles today and in the future.