Ford is testing its autonomous vehicles in a simulated city in Michigan, named “Mcity”.

“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.”

Of course, note that this is similar to the difference between testing in a test harness, and testing in the real world, where users and the environment crazy things that the test designers never imagined.

Nonetheless, it’s an advantage that Michigan has over Silicon Valley when it comes to developing products for the non-digital world. Mcity is 32 acres dedicated to autonomous vehicle testing, and that kind of acreage is hard to come by in Silicon Valley.

Originally published at on November 17, 2015.

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