We’re excited to announce that we have been chosen by the University of Michigan (U-M) Center for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with U-M Transportation Research Institute and the U-M Mobility Transformation Center (MTC), to join TechLab at Mcity this fall for the second term in a row.
TechLab is an experiential learning incubator that matches innovative technology companies like Zendrive with students interested in applying classroom learning to practical technology development.
MTC’s partners also include large automakers, insurance providers, telecommunications companies and federal, state and city governments.
Mcity is the world’s first controlled environment specifically designed to support rigorous, repeatable testing of connected and automated vehicle technologies before they are tried on public streets and highways.
Like any other city, Mcity has five lane roads, intersections, buildings and pedestrians waving as cars pass. Except on this 32-acre driving track, the building facades can be rearranged, and the pedestrians are mechanical popups.
The $6.5 million facility is outfitted with a four-lane highway with entrance and exit ramps, bridge, tunnel, intersections, sidewalks, construction obstacles, and minor details such as road signs defaced by graffiti and faded lane markings. To better replicate driving in Europe, Mcity even features a roundabout.
Check out this video of what it’s like to drive at Mcity:
In February 2016, the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship launched the pilot of TechLab with Zendrive. The positive outcomes from this initial partnership demonstrated a valuable collaboration among university research, advanced transportation startups and student innovators.
At the completion of the independent study period, participating students presented key ideas they learned to faculty, venture capitalists and stakeholders working on autonomous mobility technologies. Two of the students joined Zendrive this summer as interns.
"As the first company to be a part of the TechLab program, Zendrive and UM have offered students a one of a kind opportunity to work with data and advanced connected vehicles. Continuing our collaboration with U-M will progress our research and development, taking essential steps to benchmark safety for self driving cars. TechLab is the ultimate coming together of Detroit and Silicon Valley to bridge groundbreaking technology and research."
– Jonathan Matus, CEO of Zendrive
Read coverage of our partnership in The Detroit News, and check out the autonomous vehicle companies joining Zendrive in the fall 2016 TechLab cohort: PolySync and Civil Maps.