Recently, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog informed drivers about many new projects that have been progressing in the autonomous car industry. Today, we follow up and speak on some local stories that are influencing this new and growing industry.
A number of well respected and intelligent leaders have been selected to be a part of a new driverless car project in our own, Willow Run, Michigan. Crains Detroit reported that a nonprofit organization and a board of directors have been selected to handle the $80 million investment, called the American Center For Mobility. The site of the project is at the old General Motors Willow Run Powertrain Plant in Ypsilanti Township, a site which has been vacant for a number of years.
John Maddox was chosen to head the project as CEO. This is not Maddox’s first stab at driverless car projects, seeing as he was the assistant director of the University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center and test site, Mcity. Although not leaving the facility completely, Maddox will work on the two projects simultaneously.
Maddox, among other leaders, will work to create what is hopefully a national testing site for self driving and connected cars for years to come. The 335 acre site will be funded $20 million from the state of Michigan and the newly appointed board and nonprofit are currently working to secure the other $60 million from other areas.
The current plan for the center is to build a 2.5 mile loop with highways, ramps, merge lanes, signs, changes in elevation, and potentially a tunnel. The goal is to simulate a number of different potential road conditions, similar to urban and suburban areas, for cars to be tested in. If the current plans go through, autonomous cars will be able to drive up to 80 miles per hour within the completely closed facility.
This news comes in the wake of many announcements about autonomous cars and connected cars. General Motors recently invested $500 million in Lyft and started a new ride sharing service called Maven. Google, General Motors, and Lyft executives plan to visit with congress about changing laws to allow self-driving vehicles on public roads.
There is a lot happening in terms of the technology driverless cars use, as well. Overall, the idea is becoming far more feasible. Not only would self-driving cars and connected cars make driving overall safer than regular cars, but ideas such as ride sharing put less people on the road, which is good for the environment and safer for drivers as well. There are still many strides to make, but the autonomous auto industry is no longer just an idea, but a plan that is in motion and will be making driving safer for citizens, within the next couple years.
Just because the technology exists and is making its way to the mainstream however, doesn't mean that all car accidents will become nonexistent. The transition of introducing autonomous cars onto the roads and overtime making sure that regular cars are eliminated, will take several years. Even at the point, the may still be human driven cars on the road, meaning that human error will still exist. And, as long as human error exists, motor vehicle collisions will occur.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of automobile accidents including car crashes. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.