ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Codrin Cionca's left hand grasps the roof-mounted grab handle while his right hand rests on his leg. Cionca, a Ford engineer working on the company's autonomous vehicles, puts the Fusion's transmission into L, which powers up the car's self-driving electronics. Then he moves his feet off the pedals.
We're ready to roll.
Mcity, on the campus of the University of Michigan, is a test course for autonomous light vehicles with many of the traffic features of urban driving. There are roundabouts, traffic lights and stop signs, pedestrian crosswalks and other types of infrastructure that self-driving cars will someday have to interact with.
Of course, Ford wouldn't have invited reporters to ride along as observers if its fleet of autonomous Fusions couldn't flawlessly pilot themselves around Mcity. So, while I was not surprised the cars didn't swerve off the road, hit a pedestrian crossing the street or veer into the bicyclist ahead of us, I was impressed with how smoothly the car worked and how quickly it sensed and adjusted to its surroundings.