A pedestrian crosses in front of a vehicle as part of a demonstration at Mcity on its opening day. Photo / AP

A pedestrian crosses in front of a vehicle as part of a demonstration at Mcity on its opening day. Photo / AP

Automakers and researchers say a new simulated city at the University of Michigan could help speed the development of driverless and connected cars.

…The site has many familiar features of urban driving, including intersections, a railroad crossing, two roundabouts, brick and gravel roads and parking spaces. Moveable building facades and fake pedestrians can be altered for different kinds of tests. There’s a simulated highway entrance ramp. Two features ” a metal bridge and a tunnel ” will be a special challenge for wireless signals and radar sensors.

…Eustice says the site allows researchers to be “maximally evil” toward the car, putting it into all sorts of situations that can be quickly and easily repeated, like a model of a pedestrian obscured by a bus that walks out into traffic. Every kilometer of testing at the site is worth hundreds of kilometers of real-world driving, he said, since it can take hours of real driving to come upon a scenario that’s difficult for the car to handle.

– A newspaper