Ford is the first automaker to test self-driving vehicles at Mcity, an important first step toward getting such vehicles into the hands of consumers.
"The goal of Mcity is that we get a scaling factor," said Ryan Eustice, a University of Michigan associate professor who is working on the project with Ford. "Every mile driven there can represent 10, 100 or 1,000 miles of on-road driving in terms of our ability to pack in the occurrences of difficult events."
Ford has been testing autonomous vehicles for more than 10 years. Mcity opened in July, complete with a range of road surfaces and a city-like setting that includes street lights, crosswalks and construction barriers.
The Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research vehicle is equipped with driver-assist technologies, including front-facing cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors, and adds four LiDAR sensors to generate a real-time 3D map of the environment.
Ford is one of several automakers and tech firms testing self-driving cars.
Google is conducting real-world tests of its self-driving car in California and Texas.
Edmunds says: Self-driving cars from Ford edge closer to reality with this new round of testing.