Developing and Deploying Roadside Infrastructure at Mcity

WSP USA is responsible for developing and deploying the roadside infrastructure that communicates with vehicles being tested at Mcity, and on public roadways throughout Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mcity is one of the few test tracks in the world dedicated to connected and automated vehicle (C/AV) technology, located at the University of Michigan. 

Putting the Vehicle of the Future to the Test

The future of driving will likely be influenced by the technology being developed here, and WSP USA is part of the team making it happen.

Since 2011, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has undertaken a number of critical initiatives in the development of C/AV, beginning with the Safety Pilot Model Deployment, the largest operational field test of connected vehicle technologies in the US to date. Our firm has been with them every step of the way.

Opened in July 2015, Mcity was designed and developed by UMTRI in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation. The roads and infrastructure at Mcity cover 18 acres of a 32-acre site on the university’s north campus. Mcity simulates the conditions that vehicles encounter on real world thoroughfares, and includes a network of roadways with intersections, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, simulated buildings, streetlights and obstacles such as construction barriers. Combined with the connected vehicle test environment on the public streets of Ann Arbor, Mcity is providing an environment to test C/AV technology in both controlled track and public roadway settings.

In 2016, WSP helped develop the roadmap for connected infrastructure deployment at Mcity, including identification of site locations and radio coverage evaluation, as well as support regarding the backhaul communications connections to the site, and the vehicle-to-infrastructure messages to be generated and broadcasted on the site to meet test site user needs.

The road side units being deployed with support from our C/AV experts use dedicated short-range communications technology to send signals to connected vehicles equipped to receive such signals. The signals alert the vehicles to various roadway conditions, enabling drivers to take appropriate action (i.e., braking, increasing speed, avoiding obstacles).

In addition to this work on the Mcity test site, our firm has had a long-standing role in the connected vehicle infrastructure throughout the city originally deployed under the Safety Pilot program, now referred to as the Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment. WSP is leading a major expansion of this infrastructure, more than doubling in size to touch over 60 intersections throughout the city. Our role includes the planning, design and integration support for these connected vehicle systems.