Located on the 500-acre historic Willow Run bomber factory site in Ypsilanti Township, Mich., the American Center for Mobility (ACM) has opened a state-of-the-art proving grounds for connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) testing, with Visteon and the Toyota Research Institute conducting initial operational trials.
The USDOT-designated proving grounds provides multiple real-world environments, with the ability to test under varied, yet controlled conditions. Its range of driving environments and infrastructure includes a 2.5-mile highway loop, a 700-ft-long curved tunnel, two double overpasses, intersections and roundabouts. Construction on the first phase of the project started in May, and the next phase will begin in spring 2018, featuring an urban driving environment, followed by ACM headquarters and a technology park.
Last week, Visteon began testing the implementation of automated highway functionality for its DriveCore autonomous driving platform during one of southeast Michigan’s first snowfalls. Focus areas for Visteon’s testing and validation at ACM include autonomous driving algorithms; vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology and functionality, integrated with autonomous driving; sensor technology; and security protocols. Toyota engineers were at the site later in the week to begin orientation and driver training. Testing will occur during all four seasons, day and night, in sun, rain, ice and snow.
“We are excited to be open for testing and to have our founders already leveraging the assets of this facility,” said John Maddox, president and CEO of ACM. “We have been moving rapidly, and a great deal of work has gone into developing this site. Opening our doors is just the beginning as we continue to develop the center into a global hub for CAV and future mobility technologies to put self-driving cars on America’s roads safely.”