One of the strongest draws to Ann Arbor is MCity, a 32-acre testing ground that opened in 2015. It features simulated city streets, intersections and storefronts… The least visible of the university’s research efforts is its largest: the on-road test of vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, communications involving 1,500 cars, trucks and buses… The university expects to expand the number of wired cars taking part in the trials to 2,500 by 2018.
This fall, the university’s V2V work will expand into a new area. Electronics at crosswalks will be able to pick up the Wi-Fi signal from cellphones and alert approaching cars that a pedestrian is starting to cross the road.
Soon, two other test centers similar to MCity will open. Work is well underway on a much larger one 10 miles to the east in Ypsilanti, on the site of a factory that built bombers during World War II. Called the American Center for Mobility, it will cover 325 acres and allow testing of autonomous vehicles at highway speeds and in complex roadways like overpasses and exit ramps. A third testing ground is being built in Flint by G.M. and Kettering University.