Auto News: Self-Driving Cars Get Their Own City

Mcity self-driving cars


Michigan is now home to the world’s first controlled test area for self-driving cars. This week, the University of Michigan unveiled Mcity, a fake city of sorts specifically designed to test the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies that will lead the way to mass-market driverless cars.

“We believe that this transformation to connected and automated mobility will be a game changer for safety, for efficiency, for energy, and for accessibility,” said Peter Sweatman, director of the U-M Mobility Transformation Center. “Our cities will be much better to live in, our suburbs will be much better to live in. These technologies truly open the door to 21st century mobility.”

The 32-acre simulated urban and suburban setting will allow researchers to test connected car and autonomous vehicle tech on real roadways, with intersections, traffic signs and signals, streetlights, building facades, sidewalks and construction obstacles. It’s designed to support rigorous, repeatable testing of new technologies before they’re unleashed on public streets and highways.

“There are many challenges ahead as automated vehicles are increasingly deployed on real roadways,” Sweatman said. “Mcity is a safe, controlled, and realistic environment where we are going to figure out how the incredible potential of connected and automated vehicles can be realized quickly, efficiently and safely.”

Mcity was designed and developed by U-M’s interdisciplinary MTC, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation.


Ford is introducing its new 2016 F-150 Limited Edition. With exclusive goodies inside and out, the automaker says it’s the most luxurious F-150 ever, a truck as at home hauling a load or heading to a star-studded gala.

“The F-150 Limited sets a new bar for what discerning customers should expect in a high-end truck. We’re adding segment-exclusive technology, and features that improve productivity, convenience and capability with distinctive style,” says Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.

Outside, the Limited gets 22-inch aluminum wheels, a unique grill design, and a chrome badge on the tailgate. A chrome front bumper that is tied to the rear body-colored bumper with bright belt moldings. Satin-chrome door handles and a chrome exhaust tip finish things off..

Inside, the luxury continues with contoured Mojave Limited badged leather seats that heat and cool. The center console gets a special VIN plate with the production number and a unique instrument cluster. There are unique floor mats, genuine fiddleback eucalyptus, aluminum accents, and scuff plates with ice blue back lighting as well.

The Limited packs plenty of technology perks for everyday convenience. It comes standard with Blis cross-traffic alert, a moonroof, a Sony 10-speaker audio system, power-deployable running boards, remote start and tailgate release, and an integrated trailer brake control. For drivers who want it all, a technology package also adds on a 360-degree camera and dynamic trailer hitch assist. If that’s not enough for you, Ford’s Trailer Backup Assist is also available.

The new F-150 Limited is expected to cost north of $60,000.

Photo Credit: University of Michigan


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