Tucked away on a tree-lined US college campus, a sprawling ghost town has been built to test the self-driving cars of the future.
MCity, which sprung up in an empty field a year ago like a Hollywood set, is where new technologies which are already radically reshaping the automotive industry must prove themselves before they make it to regular roads.
The 13 hectare offers all the trappings of urban life, designed to reproduce the kinds of situations a self-driving car would encounter, like a child dashing into the street after a ball.
Traffic signals, street lights, cross walks, bicycle lanes, roundabouts, a railroad crossing, even construction: nothing has been left out of MCity's design.
The Americana street names -- Liberty Street, State Street, Main Street -- and cheerful store fronts, bus stops, benches, mailboxes and garbage bins give MCity the appearance of a vibrant town.
But its cafes and restaurants are nothing but facades. Its inhabitants are a collection of data crunchers using cameras, radar, sonar and lasers.