Mcity’s test environment is a custom-built 32-acre proving ground (half of those acres are roads) with multiple road surfaces, on-ramps, roundabouts, intersections, driveways (as well as house and garage facades), lampposts and more, where mobility technologies can be tested and connected cars deployed for observation to improve performance. An average morning at Mcity might see a prototype vehicle on the track doing sensor tests, seeing how quickly the car reacts when traffic lights change from green to red. Or exploring systems that send near real-time data from vehicle to vehicle so they can react and avoid crashes.
“What excites me about the work we do is that we don’t just think of ways to connect everyone’s smartphone to provide safer and more efficient methods of transportation,” McGuire says. “We also seek to augment and harness the intelligence of vehicles, roads and even entire cities to help with everything from providing flood warnings to networked bridges and tunnels to offering traffic alerts to the request.”
The test facility operates at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week. On any afternoon, a visitor can see leaders from government and industry come to participate in workshops or seminars and education programs on the future of transportation technology. It is also common to see University of Michigan faculty members, doctoral students, and researchers working on projects under the direction of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The future of our connected car
Much of the work in connected car technology focuses on how we manage information – both in the car and between cars – and how quickly data can be transmitted and processed so that can be taken. Connected cars are poised to fuel a transformation of global wireless data networks and radically change the shape of transportation; Deloitte estimates that 470 million connected vehicles will cross the world’s highways by 2025, each generating around 25 GB of data per hour. So how can automakers and infrastructure developers ensure that they can share and interpret the massive amounts of data that will be generated and needed to create smooth and safe on-road experiences?
At Mcity, that performance is delivered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband and MEC, which move data processing away from remote data centers and closer to the network edge for faster response times and lower latency. This facilitates near real-time analysis as data travels from and between cars, as well as from sensors and cameras installed on streets, traffic lights and elsewhere that receive and transmit position information. cars, traffic and congestion.
“Some of the greatest benefits will come from the ability to offload IT workloads from outdated infrastructure devices and mobility equipment to more advanced systems that can process and share data in near real-time,” McGuire said. . “Think of road intersections: many accidents happen there, but they are currently powered by fairly rudimentary technological systems. We have the power to dramatically and seamlessly improve security and responsiveness at an affordable cost simply by giving them a technology upgrade.