Testing new technologies in a realistic off-roadway environment is an essential step before a significant number of highly automated vehicles can be deployed safely on actual roadways. Working with the Michigan Department of Transportation, U-M researchers have designed a unique test facility for evaluating the capabilities of connected and automated vehicles and systems.
Occupying 32 acres at the University’s North Campus Research Complex, the Mobility Transformation Facility (MTF) simulates the broad range of complexities vehicles encounter in urban and suburban environments. It includes approximately three lane-miles of roads with intersections, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, benches, simulated buildings, street lights, and obstacles such as construction barriers. Current plans call for the facility be opened by spring 2015.
- 1000’ North/South straight
- Various road surfaces (concrete, asphalt, brick, dirt)
- Variety of curve radii, ramps
- Two, three, and four-lane roads
- Round-about and “tunnels”
- Sculpted dirt and grassy areas
- Variety of signage and traffic control devices
- Fixed, variable street lighting
- Cross walks, lane delineators, curb cuts, bike lanes, grade crossings
- Hydrants, sidewalks, etc.
- “Buildings” (fixed and movable)