State Rep. Julie Calley today toured the autonomous vehicle facility at Mcity in Ann Arbor with the Michigan House and Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committees, following a joint committee meeting.
Huei Peng and Carrie Morton of Mcity discussed research and outlined the vision of how autonomous vehicles will revolutionize transportation.
Mcity has created a public-private partnership to work on connected and automated mobility systems. There are more than 1,500 connected vehicles in Ann Arbor, which is the world’s largest deployment, including many residents who have volunteered their vehicle’s participation.
Laurel Champion, COO of the American Center for Mobility (ACM), presented on testing and connectivity of autonomous vehicles, along with workforce development and career retraining. The American Center for Mobility is a non-profit testing and product development facility for future mobility. The facility is located at the historic 335-acre Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township in southeast Michigan.
“Lifelong mobility is a critical concern in our rural communities and enhanced technology could open up new opportunities,” said Rep. Calley, of Portland. “It is fascinating to see how connected and automated vehicles may help keep Michigan drivers safe. I am encouraged by the dedicated focus on cyber security and accident avoidance.”
Connected vehicles exchange data anonymously, allowing drivers to be warned of emerging dangers.
Automated vehicles use a variety of sensors to collect data about the surrounding environment. Maps and GPS help guide the vehicle, along with additional information provided by other vehicles and infrastructure. Onboard computers analyze the data collected by the sensors, as well as the mapping data, to determine the best course.
“With the invention of the automobile, Michigan changed the world’s idea of mobility. I am proud that our state continues to lead the nation in developing improved methods of transportation,” said Calley.