Mcity project partners include Iteris, Navistar, Denso, Ford, General Motors, Xerox. Each partner is investing US$1m into the project over the next three years
Mcity project partners include Iteris, Navistar, Denso, Ford, General Motors, Xerox. Each partner is investing US$1m into the project over the next three years
Mcity project partners include Iteris, Navistar, Denso, Ford, General Motors, Xerox. Each partner is investing US$1m into the project over the next three years

In the US, wireless communications service provider Verizon and global semiconductor company Qualcomm have joined the University of Michigan’s “Mcity” project, which will test the preparedness of  automated and connected vehicles for mass-market adoption.

The Michigan Department of Transportation has designed Mcity with researchers from the university, to create a unique test facility for evaluating the capabilities of automated and connected vehicles and systems.

According to Business Cloud News, the Mcity Test Facility located on the grounds of the University of Michigan allows “researchers to simulate environments where  automated and connected vehicles will be most challenged – for instance where road signs may be defaced by graffiti, or when traffic lights become faulty or break.”

The project consisting of 15 partners, including Verizon and Qualcomm, builds on a 3,000 vehicle connected car project launched in 2012, co-funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Connected vehicles test environment

Says Peter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Centre: “There are many challenges ahead as automated vehicles are increasingly deployed on real roadways.

“Mcity is a safe, controlled, and realistic environment where we are going to figure out how the incredible potential of automated and connected vehicles can be realised quickly, efficiently and safely.”

Verizon will bring to the project, its telematics technology “In-Drive” and offering research into vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies. The telecommunications company will also explore various ways to combine mobility, telematics and Internet of Things services.

Director of corporate strategy, IoT verticals at Verizon, Amit Jain, said the project will develop “new vendor-agnostic and OEM-agnostic services” that has the potential to improve road and civilian safety.

Vendor-agnostic and OEM-agnostic services are generalized services to ensure interoperability among various systems.

Verizon’s chief financial officer Francis Shammo added: “As far as Internet of Things [goes], transportation, healthcare, and energy industries in particular present great opportunities.”