The fake city helping create tomorrow’s cars

Detroit may have been the heart of America’s car industry, but a short drive away is where the cars of the future may just take shape. Jack Stewart pays this stunt city a visit.

Some 40 miles (65 kilometres) from Motor City, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is building a fake town centre, complete with roads, buildings, roundabouts, busses, and even robotic pedestrians. This stunt city is designed to give the connected, “talking” cars of the future a place to test their skills.

Connected cars won’t just be the flashy, futuristic concepts unveiled at events such as the Detroit Motor Show; the technology that will allow future cars to know where other vehicles are – and even the conditions of the road it’s driving on – can be retro-fitted into existing cars. And the researchers behind it believe it could help prevent some of the one million deaths on the world’s roads every year.

Jack Stewart visited the facility to see how the technology could change the way we drive.

Share this story on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.