Mcity operates the world’s first purpose-built proving ground for testing the performance and safety of connected and automated vehicles and technologies under controlled and realistic conditions.

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Designed for Early-Stage Research and Development

Testing new technologies in a safe, controlled environment is essential before deploying automated vehicles on public streets, roads, and highways. The Mcity Test Facility sits on a 32-acre site on U-M’s North Campus Research Complex, with more than 16 acres of roads and traffic infrastructure. The full-scale outdoor laboratory simulates the broad range of complexities vehicles encounter in urban and suburban environments, and provides the connected infrastructure and operating system to serve as a smart city test bed.

Mcity Test Facility Features

  • State-of-the-art instrumentation and sensors throughout the facility include a control network to collect data about traffic activity using wireless, fiber optics, Ethernet, and a highly accurate real-time kinematic positioning system
  • Patent-pending augmented reality testing technology allows physical test vehicles to interact with virtually connected vehicles in real time inside the facility
  • Fully connected 5G network and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication throughout the facility
  • Facility infrastructure and testing conditions can be controlled with our Mcity OS cloud-based software
  • Multiple road surfaces, variety of road markings and crossing types (e.g. pedestrian, railroad)
  • 1,000-foot straightaway, plus access ramps, curves, roundabout, traffic circle, and urban streets
  • Traffic signals and traffic signs, plus building facades and simulated tree cover
  • House and garage exterior with accessibility ramp for first-mile/last-mile testing, deliveries, and ride hailing
  • Bridge deck, underpass, guardrails, barriers, and crash attenuators
  • Onsite workstation and configurable open test areas
  • Test vehicles and support available

Please note: Mcity is a closed facility. Due to safety and confidentiality concerns, access is limited to those involved in testing and research.

Mcity OS

Mcity OS makes it possible for researchers to create and execute complex, sophisticated, and easily repeatable test scenarios of connected vehicles, automated vehicles, and connected and automated vehicles – potentially saving testing time and costs, and accelerating product development.

Mcity OS runs on any internet-enabled device to control all the features of the Mcity Test Facility. This cloud-based open-source operating system gives users point-and-click control over interactions between vehicle and facility features and infrastructure. Mcity OS is built on our OCTANE API and SKYLINE app.

Mcity OS tools can be integrated at other test facilities and in real-world environments as we lead the transformation to CAVs, CV2X, and smart cities. Mcity OS is also available for use at other test facilities. The American Center for Mobility is the first facility to license Mcity OS.

To inquire about licensing, contact the University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer.

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Driverless vehicle at M city test facility
Mcity is the world’s first purpose-build facility for testing connected and automated vehicles and technologies under controlled, realistic conditions before trying them out in real traffic.
M city grand opening ribbon cutting
Leaders from the University of Michigan, and local, state and federal government, cut the ribbon to open the Mcity Test Facility on July 20, 2015
store fronts at M city test facility
Building facades up to two stories high line the streets of Mcity’s urban downtown area.
car driving on track at M city test facility
Mcity includes urban and suburban streets, plus road signs, pedestrian crossings and other features to simulate real-world urban and suburban driving conditions.
robot pedestrian at M city test facility
Dummies can be used at Mcity to test pedestrian avoidance technology in automated vehicles.
M city test facility tunnel
A highway overpass is simulated at Mcity by a tunnel that blocks vehicles from wireless and satellite signals.
M city traffic signs
Road signs at Mcity are not pristine by design to effectively replicate real-world conditions.
testing vehicle and pedestrian at M city test facility
Testing scenarios can be configured to meet the specific needs of Mcity users evaluating advanced mobility vehicles and technologies.
interior of car looking through windshield at M city test facility
The Michigan Department of Transportation helped fund construction of the Mcity Test Facility, and provided traffic signs, overhead freeway signs and other equipment that had been taken out of service.