The University of Michigan is setting itself to be a major part of the autonomous car revolution. Its board of regents announced today that the university will build a $6.5 million track by this fall for self-driving cars. The 30-acre test zone will offer a real-world driving infrastructure with three miles of roads with intersections, traffic signs, signals, sidewalks, and obstacles like construction.
Having a site like this is a big deal because many cities don't want autonomous cars driving around, but researchers still need authentic conditions for testing. The move is also part of Michigan's larger goal of having a system of connected and automated vehicles on the streets of Southeastern Michigan by 2021.