The Future

. July 1, 2015.

It’s the year 2021. Nanotechnology has extended average life expectancies by 10 years. Asteroid mining is a billion dollar industry. Solar powered energy systems have replaced conventional energy sources. Everyone has cool new phones. And in Ann Arbor, a fleet of 9,000 autonomous vehicles cruise the streets moving people and goods from A to B. But there’s a lot to do between now and then.  

On July 20, the University of Michigan Mobility Transportation Center will formally roll out their futuristic automated vehicle testing facility called Mcity. Occupying 32 acres at the University’s North Campus Research Complex, Mcity simulates a range of complex urban and suburban driving environments, including roads with intersections, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, simulated buildings, streetlights, and even the ubiquitous construction barriers that line the roadways throughout the better part of the year. “Connected and automated vehicle technology will usher in a revolution in the mobility of people and goods comparable to that sparked by the introduction of the automobile a century ago,” said Peter Sweatman, director of U-M’s Mobility Transformation Center. “Mcity will allow us to test new approaches in a safe, controlled and realistic environment before we implement them on actual streets.”

More information at mtc.umich.edu.  

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