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Ann Arbor Spark

November 1, 2018

Ann Arbor SPARK Showcases American Center for Mobility During Demo Day

As part of its recent participation in the Autonomous Vehicles Testing Expo, Ann Arbor SPARK hosted a demo day at the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run (ACM). The event featured a presentation on the facility’s capabilities, a track tour, as well as live and static demonstrations by leading mobility companies.

Nearly 200 industry representatives were able to join us and interact with VSI Labs, AutonomouStuff, Intertek, Trillium Secure, P3 North America, and others who are doing incredible, innovative work in the mobility space. Participants also learned how they can partner with ACM, reserve track time, and the types of testing that can be done at the site.

VSI Labs and AutonomouStuff offered short rides in autonomous vehicles equipped with a safety driver. The vehicles were able to autonomously control the steering wheel, throttle, and brakes while demonstrating a mix of gradual and sharp turns, as well as a mix of acceleration and deceleration including some complete stops. Monitors inside the vehicle allowed passengers to view the route, data, and objects the sensors are detecting along the way.

Here’s a glimpse of the VSI Labs demo.

Attendees were also able to view the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and its collaborative partners demonstrating advanced behaviors in an autonomous leader-follower convoy live on ACM’s test track. The demonstration, which was not an official part of Ann Arbor SPARK’s demo event, was TARDEC’s first such demo at ACM.

Looping around a two-mile course reclaimed from a disused stretch of four-lane highway, a mixed convoy of two Auburn University-labeled commercial line-haul trucks and two of their Army counterpart tractor-trailers performed a series of driverless technology maneuvers.  In addition to the standard leader-follower — or platooning — capability-enabling throttle and brake control, engineers showed off lateral steering control through the convoy.

The event was a great way to showcase the various capabilities available at the American Center for Mobility for industry working in the connected and autonomous vehicle space.