TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - There is big news in the self-driving car craze. Researchers at Mcity are making pretty amazing progress.
It takes a lot of time, money, and research to develop the kind of technology that will drive for you on the road. But just as cars and trucks are flying by on the highway, the research is also speeding up and making a difference.
From the automated truck doing a test drive on the Ohio Turnpike to the autonomous cars at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, self driving vehicles are way beyond the concept phase.
Researchers at Mcity at the University of Michigan have made a breakthrough. They would normally have to drive cars millions or billions of miles to accurately assess the safety and reliability.
But they've developed an accelerated evaluation process that eliminates uneventful driving situations and focuses on more dangerous ones, like cutting someone off or unexpectedly slowing down when there's a car behind you.
The new approach means a self-driving car driven for 1,000 test miles can now give the same data as 300,000 to 100 million miles of real-world driving.
Mcity's director says it won't mean self-driving cars get on the roads sooner, but time and money saved will be put back into additional and crucial safety testing.
"I think most companies are now talking anywhere between 2020 to 2025 for limited numbers of Level 4 vehicles. And we think the time frame wouldn't be dramatically reduced by our technology, but we may be able to help them to do a better job," said Mcity director Dr.
Mcity researchers are also looking at how sensors on self-driving cars can handle snow and fog and other illegal movements.