We’re making discoveries every day. Our work at Mcity, in collaboration with partners from all areas of transportation and mobility, is critical to ensuring that everything comes together for application in the real world.
Learning and Sharing
Mcity is not just an automotive proving ground. It is not solely a center conducting and funding academic research. It is not only supporting on-road deployments of connected and automated vehicles. Mcity uniquely encompasses all of these, setting it apart from other vehicle testing and research programs.
Mcity is also a learning environment. We bring together industry, government, and university partners to jointly tackle critical questions about future mobility for the benefit of all. An essential part of our mission is sharing the insights we gain through our work.
Better Together: Connectivity and Automation
Automated vehicles are in the spotlight today, with public interest growing and industry investment surging. When Mcity launched in 2014, our priority was connected vehicles, building on the University of Michigan’s experience deploying cars and light trucks on the streets of Ann Arbor that could “talk” to each other and to the surrounding infrastructure as part of a $30 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Today, our experience implementing connected vehicles, along with results from research we’ve funded, point to connected vehicle communications capability as helpful, even critical, to ensuring the safety and reliability of automated vehicles. Some people – even most – may talk about connectivity and automation as being separate. We believe they go hand-in-hand.
Collaboration is Critical
Mcity’s vision is to build the foundation of a commercially viable ecosystem for connected and automated vehicles. When we began, we knew the challenges of bringing to life this model of 21st Century mobility could not be solved in a vacuum. Our experience since has shown that Mcity’s success lies in the close interaction and collaboration among our government, industry, and university partners, even as we focus day-to-day on our unique individual missions.
Consumer Trust May Come Quickly
One of the most compelling questions about the future of connected and automated vehicles is whether consumers can learn to trust and accept vehicles if they aren’t controlling everything from behind the wheel. Mcity-funded research, based on a simulated driving experience, found that as drivers adapted to connected and automated vehicle technologies, they were more likely to engage in other tasks. The finding implies that consumers learn to trust the technology in a relatively short period of time.