On July 20, the University of Michigan unveiled “MCity”, a 32-acre mock city similar to a movie set with downtown and rural settings that will be the world’s first controlled environment exclusively for testing connected and automated cars. The MCity project underscores Michigan’s emergence as a leader in the auto and tech industries, building upon the state’s high concentration of global innovative automotive research and development.
Self-driving cars cruising off of MCity’s simulated urban and suburban streets and into the general populace might still feel like a ways away before becoming reality. But if you were to drive to Ann Arbor’s neighboring city, Ypsilanti, you would come across an existing company that’s been working toward driving-assistance technology that can make your vehicle feel more connected to the internet. And it is technology that can have real-world benefits today.
Voyomotive, one of Logic Solutions’ clients, is working toward supplemental software that simply helps drivers, rather than take the wheel out of their hands. Described on its website as “an advanced telematics system that increases driving safety, convenience and fuel efficiency,” Voyomotive’s hardware, called Voyo, and companion phone app can connect any car sold since 1996 to the Voyomotive Cloud on the Internet of Things.
Voyo’s features include starting and stopping the car remotely, tracking and conserving fuel, locating and assessing a car in an accident, and more. On the horizon, plans are in place to develop preventative features to avoid accidents or wasted car energy.
“EcoStart and our Stop-at-Park technologies have a potential for significant fuel savings without the huge financial and environmental cost of the next best thing – a new car,” said Voyomotive CTO Robert Vogt. “Voyo’s connected car features will revolutionize the driving experience for drivers of newer and older vehicles alike.”
Since Google first introduced its driverless car in Silicon Valley in 2012, the idea of a self-driving car has slowly shifted from sci-fi fantasy to reality. The technology is still a few years out from being open for public use, but we at Logic can tell you firsthand that the Southeast Michigan area has plenty of rapidly-advancing technology to tide you over.