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Automotive Research Center
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Mcity photo with team and vehicles

ARC’s partner universities make tremendous investments in world-class computational and experimental facilities. This allows ARC projects to leverage the collective expertise and capabilities of each institution in a collaborative ecosystem of discovery and innovation.

University of Michigan


Mcity provides a simulated urban and suburban environment with roads and supporting infrastructure that covers 18 acres. It is a safe and controlled environment for testing and discovering autonomous and connected vehicle technologies.

Robotics Institute

The Robotics Institute will be housed in a $75M, 4 story, 140 kSqF facility to be commissioned in early 2020. The new building features a three-story fly zone for autonomous aerial vehicles, an outdoor obstacle course for walking bots, and high-bay garage space for self-driving cars. The building will be also a hub for close collaborative activities with industry. In a breakthrough collaborative effort, Ford researchers will occupy the 4th floor.


Since its inception in 1965, UMTRI has earned a significant national and international reputation for its motor-vehicle safety research related to injury biomechanics. UMTRI has since embraced a variety of disciplines and is now at the forefront of connected-vehicle research and testing, sustainable mobility systems, transportation data fusion and analysis, and the efficient movement of heavy freight, to name just a few.

Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory

The Lay Automotive Lab has supported education and research since the early 1900s. Today, the Lab focus is on combustion engines, fuels and vehicular electronics in areas such as emission control, fuel efficiency, combustion laser diagnostics, engine controls, and vehicle powertrain design. The Lab encompasses 20 engine test cells, machine shops, and instructional and computer laboratories.

Our Partner Universities

Clemson University - International Center for Automotive Research

The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CUICAR) is organized into five distinct technology neighborhoods designed to foster interaction among the partners, employees, faculty and students on the campus. At full build-out, CU-ICAR will provide more than 3 million square feet of sustainably developed building space across 250 acres.

Michigan Tech - Keweenaw Research Center

The Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) test course includes: vehicle handling loops, packed-snow vehicle dynamics pads, and split-mu, long-split-mu and packed-snow slopes of various grades. These courses are used for testing/tuning vehicle and vehicle components, including tires, brake systems, drive systems, suspension systems, traction control, mobility, durability, stability control, and water, dust, and snow ingestion. KRC also works on noise, shock and vibration, gradeability, dynamic handling, and performance on gravel and secondary roads.

MTU also hosts the Cooperative Demonstration of Technology (CDT) Data Set, comprising Vehicle and Terrain data sets for modeling inputs, and Vehicle Behavior data sets serving for validation. They are open source and can be downloaded from here.

Mississippi State University - Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS)

The Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) is focused on developing autonomous mobility solutions for off-road, industrial, and heavy-duty vehicle automation in non-urban environments. With top-rated high-performance computing capabilities and one-of-a-kind vehicle proving grounds, CAVS is able to validate advanced modeling and simulation developments in real-world situations. CAVS also has full-suite capability for autonomous system development, including sensor research, artificial intelligence and vehicle robotization.

Virginia Tech - Transportation Institute

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute houses the Virginia Smart Roads project consisting of five sub-facilities: Highway, Surface Street, Live Roadway Connector, Automation Hub (facilitates short-turnaround projects focused on advanced-vehicle testing) and Rural Roadway Expansion. In particular, the Expansion is designed to recreate the challenges of rural roads, built to older (1965) standards, allowing users to test automated and autonomous vehicles in realistic settings.