Ford is testing its self-driving cars in a 32-acre fake city

Ford autonomous fusion mcityFordFord is accelerating testing of its Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle as the first automaker to test a fully autonomous vehicle at Mcity, the world’s first full-scale simulated urban environment at University of Michigan.

Ford is ready to take its self-driving car program to the next level. 

The car maker said on Friday that it is the first automaker to test its autonomous vehicles at a MCity, a 32-acre faux city located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

While Ford has been developing its autonomous technology for more than a decade, the move to begin testing its technology at MCity shows the automaker is ramping up its efforts to take the technology to market. 

“Testing Ford’s autonomous vehicle fleet at Mcity provides another challenging, yet safe, urban environment to repeatedly check and hone these new technologies,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s vice president of global product development, in a press statement.  “This is an important step in making millions of people’s lives better and improving their mobility.”

Ford has traditionally kept pretty quiet about its self-driving plans, not revealing any concrete dates as to when to expect driverless tech coming to its production models. 

However, according to a recent Wired report, the company recently revealed that it expects to offer a fully autonomous car in just five years. This is impressive considering many other automakers only plan to offer semi-autonomous systems by 2020. 

MCity is an ideal place for Ford to test the sensing technology of its autonomous Ford Fusions because of how closely it resembles a real city. 

The fake city includes many of the thing you would find in a real city, including 40 buildings facades, a traffic circle, a tunnel, a bridge, a four-lane highway equipped with exit ramps, and even a mechanical pedestrian that will step into traffic to see if the car detects it. 

MCity, which opened in July, is a joint project between the University of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and 15 automakers, including Ford. 

In addition to MCity, Ford is also testing a fleet of self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrids in Dearborn, Michigan. 

Check out the video below to see Ford autonomous car drive around the fake city in the video below. 

NOW WATCH: Google’s self-driving car has a huge problem

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