Artist’s conception of the MTC’s unique simulated urban test environment, highlighting key features of the site.

Testing new technologies in a realistic off-roadway environment is an essential step before a significant number of highly automated vehicles can be deployed safely on actual roadways. Working with the Michigan Department of Transportation, U-M researchers have designed Mcity, a unique test facility for evaluating the capabilities of connected and automated vehicles and systems.


Mcity sits on a 32-acre site on the University’s North Campus, with more than 16 acres of roads and infrastructure. Mcity simulates the broad range of complexities vehicles encounter in urban and suburban environments. It includes approximately five lane-miles of roads with intersections, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, benches, simulated buildings, street lights, and obstacles such as construction barriers. Mcity celebrated its grand opening on July 20, 2015 with representatives from government, industry, and the university. 

Roadway Attributes

  • 1000’ North/South straight
  • Various road surfaces (concrete, asphalt, brick, dirt)
  • Variety of curve radii, ramps
  • Two, three, and four-lane roads
  • Round-about and “tunnels”
  • Sculpted dirt and grassy areas

Road-side Attributes

  • Variety of signage and traffic control devices
  • Fixed, variable street lighting
  • Cross walks, lane delineators, curb cuts, bike lanes, grade crossings
  • Hydrants, sidewalks, etc.
  • “Buildings” (fixed and movable)

Like many automotive proving grounds, Mcity is a closed facility.  Due to safety and confidentiality concerns, access is limited to those involved in testing and research.

However, Mcity will host an annual public open house.  At this time the 2017 date has not yet been set.


MTC Driving Tour