Mcity tests and demonstrates emerging connected and automated vehicle technologies in real-world conditions on the roads of Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan.

Real-World Studies

Deploying emerging technologies to the roads of Mcity’s living laboratories enables U-M researchers and Mcity industry partners to study the feasibility and impact of these new technologies in real-world environments.

In Ann Arbor

A2GO, a new autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle service, launches in Ann Arbor October 2021. A collaboration with May Mobility and others, the A2GO deployment will enable Mcity to measure results that reflect the potential of AV services to integrate with existing public transit systems and make transportation more accessible to more people.

The Mcity Driverless Shuttle operated on public roads within the University of Michigan’s north campus over an 18-month period to support research and data collection to gauge consumer acceptance of automated vehicles. The Mcity Driverless Shuttle research project was completed in 2019.

The Ann Arbor Connected Environment (AACE) is a living laboratory supporting the development and testing of connected vehicles and related technologies on the streets of Ann Arbor. With U-M’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), we collected real-time data from 2,500 connected vehicles and 70 connected intersections over several years. The more than 50 million miles of AACE data collected have helped us learn how, where, and when people drive, facilitating the development of a microscopic mobility model for the City of Ann Arbor.

AACE was established in 2012 under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s funded Safety Pilot Model Deployment(SPMD). The SPMD program was the world’s first dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) full-scale deployment under real-world conditions, with multimodal traffic, and vehicles equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication devices. The deployment covered more than 73 lane-miles and included approximately 3,000 vehicles and 30 roadside units.

Ann Arbor intersection at night

In Detroit

The work of Mcity expands to Detroit. The Michigan Mobility Collaborative, of which Mcity is a member, received a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to conduct an automated vehicle deployment in Detroit to demonstrate the potential societal value of this technology. The collaborative will develop a process to evaluate the safety of the automated driving systems as well as research various issues related to accessibility including future services and business models built around driverless vehicles that improve the quality of life for the senior population in Detroit and cities across Michigan.

Skyline of Detroit

In Southeast Michigan

In 2020, the University of Michigan joined with the State of Michigan and other partners to launch the Michigan Connected Corridor, a significant mobility initiative to develop a first-of-its kind corridor for connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). This Detroit to Ann Arbor project is focused on improving transportation and mobility for communities in Southeast Michigan, and closing long-standing gaps in access to transit and transportation. The project is a public-private partnership that will continue Michigan’s leadership in smart infrastructure and the future of mobility.

Cavnue, a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, serves as master developer for phase one of the initiative. Initial project partners include Ford Motor Co.; the University of Michigan with its Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT), world-class Mcity Test Facility, and Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI); and the American Center for Mobility (ACM).

Artist rendering of driverless shuttle vehicles in an urban setting

From Ann Arbor to the World

Mcity’s reach and impact is extensive. What we learn in the controlled environment of the Mcity Test Facility can be applied on the streets of Ann Arbor and beyond through connected and automated vehicle deployments, and shared with Mcity’s collaborators in industry and government.

Circular graphic illustrating Mcity's expanding reach