As the world of automotive design continually makes changes to adapt for new technologies and new approaches to researching auto safety and dependability, Michigan Auto Insurance companies are faced with keeping up with the world of futuristic automotive designs. Leading the research frontier is University of Michigan with its new, realistic testing site known as Mcity.
Mcity is a 32-acre, real world environment, testing site that opened on June 20, in Ann Arbor, at the University’s North Campus Research Complex. It is equipped with about five miles of roadways that include a highway section as well as a ‘downtown’ section complete with traffic signals, sidewalks, buildings and even construction barriers.
While navigating their way through the downtown area, driverless vehicles encounter a variety of road types including: traditional asphalt, gravel, brick, metal plating, and even a railroad crossing. Vehicles must pilot their way through intersections both lit and unlit, making sure they avoid stationary as well as mechanized pedestrians and bicyclists. They must also steer their way through traffic circles and roundabouts, which have become an increasingly popular approach to intersection design and safety. There is even a tunnel to simulate an underpass where satellite signals are blocked, as well as a tree canopy area to see how passing through trees might effect signal strength. From there, these vehicles can then try their hand at merging onto and exiting from a 1000’ ‘highway’ that runs north to south allowing for the added benefit of testing the accuracy of GPS systems.
The testing site is intended to allow researchers to see how self-driving and environment-connected vehicles do in real world situations, and tinker with them to improve their performance. The area is wired with a variety of sensors that enable researchers to collect data as the cars navigate their way through the site. The data collected will focus on technologies that allow cars to communicate with each other in order to make the roads safer for everyone.
At the July 20th opening, many car companies gathered to show off some of their newest systems and demonstrate their latest devices, proving that the future of automotive technology is well underway.
At Capital Insurance Group, we know the future is upon us. Call us today for information on how we can help protect YOUR future. 888.296.0418