WUOMFM

M-City

driverless shuttle bus
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor residents may see some unusual vehicles driving around the University of Michigan's north campus starting today.

There’s one thing missing: a driver.

The two driverless shuttles will run on roughly one-mile loop and have a conductor on board in case anything goes wrong.

The 11-passenger shuttles are part of a research project from M-City, a public-private partnership with U-M that develops driverless technology.  

Researchers placed cameras onboard to study how passengers and pedestrians will respond to seeing them on the road.

Self-driving vehicle from Ford
Ford Motor Company

Autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles navigate using technologies to detect lane markers to stay on course.

But what happens when those lane markers are covered with snow?

Engineers with the University of Michigan and Ford Motor Company say their new research shows it's possible for a self-driving car to get around using highly detailed 3D maps of everything that surrounds the vehicle.