The self-driving concept car Mercedes-Benz showed off at the International CES and Detroit auto show this month provided a window into a not-too-distant future. Automakers and suppliers are working on cars that not only maneuver independently but also communicate with one another and with the surrounding infrastructure, creating a buzzing community among themselves.
But this transformational technology raises significant issues, and as director of both the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Michigan Mobility Transformation Center here, Peter Sweatman tackles those issues head-on.
The transformation center is building a 32-acre "mini city" for testing of connected and automated vehicles. The facility, which includes roads with intersections, traffic signs and signals, simulated buildings and other driving obstacles, is to open this spring.
Sweatman, 68, spoke with Special Correspondent Julie Halpert this month about what a community of cars could someday look like in a connected environment.
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