Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Keith Wagstaff

Driverless cars don't have to worry about hitting pedestrians in Mcity, a 32-acre fake town that opened Monday at the University of Michigan.

Google has been testing self-driving cars on public roads for years with only a few minor accidents. But it's not the only player in the game.

Austin Thomason / University of Michigan Photography

GM, Honda, Toyota and 12 other companies are also interested in self-driving cars, which is why they each invested $1 million in Mcity. It's meant to simulate urban and suburban roads with traffic signals, movable building facades, fake underpasses, construction obstacles and more.

"Mcity is a safe, controlled, and realistic environment where we are going to figure out how the incredible potential of connected and automated vehicles can be realized quickly, efficiently and safely," Peter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan's Mobility Transformation Center (MTC), said in a statement.

Despite the carefully designed setting, researchers will try to confuse automated cars with things like graffiti on stop signs and faded lane markers. MTC hopes to use the knowledge gained from Mcity to eventually put 2,000 connected, driverless cars on the streets of Ann Arbor.