The idea: Create as many situations as possible for testing self-driving cars.

There have been plenty of reports and overall concern about the safety of self-driving cars. The problem is that test scenarios are hard to replicate – and potentially unsafe to the public if not in a closed environment.

Supporters believe the research and testing done at the site will help make vehicles safe to drive on roadways and will improve the flow of transportation.

ANN ARBOR-The University of Michigan today opened Mcity, the world’s first controlled environment specifically designed to test the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies that will lead the way to mass-market driverless cars.

“Humans can certainly recognize the environment”. Faux building facades and sidewalks further heighten the realism. There’s even a four-lane highway with entrance and exit ramps. While Mcity drivers don’t have to contend with real pedestrians, there will be one mechanical foot-traveler (a robotlike machine named Sebastian) that steps out into traffic to see whether the automated cars can hit the brakes in time.

“MTC and Mcity highlight the interdisciplinary strengths of U-M”, said U-M President Mark Schlissel.

“We can test vehicles here in Mcity, then move them onto the streets of Ann Arbor”, he said.

But study the view more closely, and suddenly it becomes more complex. But where will all of the testing be done?

“We’ve been a world leader in innovation, especially in terms of mobility”, said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “But when it comes to things like regulatory approaches and legal approaches, that’s where you really want to come together and collaborate”. Describing the vehicle-to-infrastructure technology to be tested at the facility, he added; “When you’re driving down the road, the bridge will tell your auto it’s icing over”.

M City represents an alternative to that.

“There are many challenges ahead as automated vehicles are increasingly deployed on real roadways”, Sweatman said. We can replace signs. It’s fitted with roads, signals, and signs that comply with all Michigan Department of Transportation standards.

Google declined to comment on Peters’ remarks. “Our open integration strategy for connected vehicle technology mirrors the approach we take by working with world-class, global component suppliers”. This is the center of the (automated driving technology) universe.

The test facility is split into two tracks. MDOT has also provided significant contributions, while 15 different companies have promised at least $1 million over three years.

“There are 33,000 American motorists that lost their lives a year ago on highways”, Peter said. Google is not yet a sponsor of M City, he said.