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Driverless car test site aims to open by fall in Michigan

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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A glass panel display shows how vehicles equipped with the new technology will be able to communicate with one another and roadway infrastructure, like traffic signals at an August, 2012 Ann Arbor event on driverless cars.

DETROIT (AP) - University of Michigan and state government officials aim to have a 32-acre driverless car test site running by September - in time for a global conference on intelligent transportation systems.

Gov. Rick Snyder and other state and university officials gathered Tuesday at Detroit's auto show to outline plans for the Mobility Transformation Facility, a $6.5 million site on the Ann Arbor university's North Campus.

It will offer a simulated urban environment with roads, intersections, building facades, traffic circles and a hill.

Two developments enable the facility - a new state law letting companies test driverless but occupied cars on roads, and a street-level research project in Ann Arbor involving 3,000 people in networked vehicles.

The 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems runs Sept. 7-11 in Detroit.

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