Mobility Transformation Center rebrands as Mcity
The University of Michigan has a new yet familiar name for its center dedicated to advancing connected and automated vehicles: Mcity.
Mcity replaces Mobility Transformation Center, or MTC, as the official name of the public-private partnership U-M established in 2013 with government and industry to lead the transition to connected and driverless vehicles through research and collaboration.
A new Mcity website has been launched to support the name change and to better highlight the growing range of work under way at the center.
“The rebranding was undertaken to better call attention to who we are and what sets us apart in a rapidly changing mobility environment,” said Huei Peng, director of Mcity and the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “To a large extent, it embraces a transition that was already under way.”
Mcity became a globally recognized brand soon after MTC introduced it in July 2015 as the name of the world’s first purpose-built environment for testing advanced mobility vehicles and technologies. Before long, it outshined the name of the center that created it.
The test environment, located on U-M’s North Campus, will now be known as the Mcity Test Facility. The facility, which makes it possible to safely conduct rigorous tests that would require thousands of miles of driving on public streets, is one of three key initiatives at Mcity. The center also funds academic research and is working with its partners, including the U-M Transportation Research Institute, to deploy connected and automated vehicles on the streets of Ann Arbor and beyond.
Mcity partners include more than 65 companies representing a broad range of industries that have come together to collaborate and help shape the future of mobility. To date, Mcity has invested about $16 million in nearly 30 research projects, exploring critical questions ranging from the legal and liability implications of driverless vehicles, to how easily consumers accept new technologies that take control of driving, to identifying the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of traffic infrastructure.
Connected vehicles use secure, wireless communication to “talk” to each other and to the surrounding infrastructure, sharing information about vehicle position, speed and direction to reduce crashes. Automated vehicles do not require a human driver for some or all operations. Connected and automated vehicles have the potential to dramatically improve traffic safety, reduce fuel use, and bring mobility to those who may not be able to access transportation today.