If you have any doubt about how quickly self-driving cars are coming to the road, check out M City in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The 32-acre closed environment test site includes four miles of roads packed with different traffic scenarios, from city driving to highway entrance ramps, to rural roads with railroad crossings. The idea: Create as many situations as possible for testing self-driving cars.
The $6.5 million facility, which officially opened Monday on the University of Michigan's campus, is the latest sign that auto companies are all-in when it comes to autonomous-drive vehicles.
"Humans can certainly recognize the environment. Can the machines recognize the environment is the big question," said Peter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
Nearly every automaker, including General Motors and Ford, has been working on autonomous-drive technology on closed courses. Their work has received relatively little attention. By comparison, Google and its self-driving prototypes have been the focus of numerous stories, as they've been tested for more than a million miles in real-world traffic.