The Engineering Society of Detroit sponsored a tour of the University of Michigan Transportation Center facility last week. The facility provides a complex urban environment for the testing of connected and automated vehicles. The testing environment includes a traffic circle and a roundabout. Both of these roadway geometric features pose challenges to driverless vehicles. Other roadway features available for testing include a brick paver road, gravel roadways, signalized intersections, and a metal bridge deck.
The urban a suburban streets simulate real-world conditions with sidewalks, crosswalks, ADA ramps, raised medians, street lights, tree shading, parallel and diagonal parking, a bus turnout/stop, and building facades. The state route portion provides a railroad crossing complete with railroad signals, bells, and stop bars; as well as a cable barrier, temporary and permanent pavement markings, and a simulated tunnel. The tunnel’s primary purpose will be to block the automated and connected vehicles from satellite signals.