Some US researchers have built a 'fake' city, costing about dollar 10 million, which spans 32 acres and features dummy shops and restaurants, to test driverless cars. The University of Michigan has opened Mcity, the world's first controlled environment to test the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies that will lead to mass-market driverless cars.
Mcity covers 32 acres and contains all the trappings of a real small city, with an entire network of roads with sidewalks, streetlights, stop signs and traffic signals. There's also a "downtown" area complete with fake building facades and outdoor dining areas. Mcity is a safe, controlled, and realistic environment to find out how the incredible potential of connected and automated vehicles can be realised quickly, efficiently and safely. In addition to testing driverless, cars, the researchers will also test connected vehicles within Mcity's limits. Connected cars can either communicate with one another (vehicle-to-vehicle control, or V2V) or with equipment like traffic lights located near roadways (vehicle-to-infrastructure control, or V2I).
Mcity has been designed and developed by U-M's interdisciplinary MTC, in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The construction began last year and about USD 10 million has been investedy.