Huge Autonomous Vehicle Test Center Opens In Michigan

A $135 million autonomous vehicle testing facility has opened near Ann Arbor, Michigan and promises to act as an important location for carmakers to test and develop their self-driving technologies.

The American Center for Mobility has a 2.5-mile highway loop, a 700-foot curved tunnel, intersections, roundabouts, and two double overpasses to mimic everyday driving conditions.

Companies including Toyota and Ford have invested in the facility and, on December 13, a number of Toyota engineers arrived on the site for a driver training program. Joining the Japanese automaker at the facility is electronics supplier Visteon. Motor Trend reports that other carmakers and technology companies will start using the site from next week.

Construction at the site is still ongoing and the next phase is tipped to begin in the spring of 2018, adding an urban driving environment to the facility.

Speaking about the site, chief executive of Business Leaders for Michigan and chairman of ACM’s board, Doug Rothwell, said it was important for many different parties to get behind the project.

“This technology posed a hell of a lot of risk to this state. I’m heartened that everyone pulled together—state government, the private sector, universities—so that we could solidify our role in this growing part of the industry.”

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