Kettering University's General Motors Mobility Research Center in Flint Michigan

The Kettering University GM Mobility Research Center is a vehicle and mobility systems development proving ground and outdoor research facility on Kettering University’s campus in Flint, Michigan. The unique facility – which is the only one of its kind on a college campus in the country – puts Kettering and Flint at the forefront of autonomous vehicle research/development, safety and technology.


  • Located on a 21-acre parcel of property that formerly housed GM’s Chevrolet Division (‘Chevy in the Hole’) facility.
  • 3.25-acre customizable test pad built to race track performance specifications.
  • Low-speed handling loops with elevation and surface changes, optional routes and other features to create diverse testing environments.
  • A research annex with labs, offices and garage with vehicle bays.


  • The facility hours are 24/7, 365 days per year, subject to availability.
  • Components of the facility can be reserved or used separately.
  • The facility is not able to accommodate crash or collision testing


The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) acts as the controlling agent for the Kettering Mobility Research Center on behalf of the Office of the Provost. Kettering University welcomes requests for usage of the MRC from external organizations and researchers as well as Kettering faculty, staff, and students.


Michigan Economic Development Corporation PlanetM logo

Kettering Univeristy GM Mobility Research Center received a grant from PlanetM to help startup companies use the MRC for testing. The grant is given to help startups focus their resources on enhancing and proving their technologies, and work to deepen companies’ ties to Michigan and its mobility ecosystem. | More on PlanetM >


A car drives the track at Kettering University's G Mobility Research Center.


  • The annex is 3,000 square feet.
  • An observation balcony overlooks the proving grounds.
  • The annex provides secured and private spaces for prototype development, along with office and conference facilities.
  • The facility is temperature controlled with a single drive-thru bay and a heavy duty two-post vehicle lift available.
  • The space supports various fuel sources, including gasoline, propane, natural gas, and hydrogen.
  • The facility will include Level-II EV charging options.

The Harris Research Annex is a 3,000 square-foot facility on the grounds of Kettering University's GM Mobility Research Center.


  • The facility is attracting the nation’s top students to study and research mobility and automotive engineering, automotive networking, and cyber security in a unique lab space.
  • The MRC creates new research opportunities and collaborations between Kettering University faculty and students and our more than 600 corporate and industry partners.
  • Students and faculty from many academic departments, including Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and the life sciences use the facility for instruction and research.


  • Facility offers potential economic impact by bringing major companies into Flint and Michigan to conduct research on a long-term basis and supports state of Michigan initiative to create autonomous vehicle research and development ecosystem within the state.
  • Construction of the facility represents a productive and innovative reuse property that was formerly an industrial brownfield.
  • Facility complements a federally supported development of adjacent former Chevy in the Hole property on the south side of the Flint River into Chevy Commons, an urban park with natural vegetation and paved walking/biking trails


  • Test pad is fully customizable with straightaway distances of up to 500-feet.
  • The test pad features a consistent one percent slope across the entire length in one direction and has no slope in the perpendicular direction with ¼ inch tolerance over 10 feet in any direction.
  • The test pad is floodable.
  • Stadium-style lighting allows for use 24 hours per day.
  • There are no breaks, seams or drains on the test pad’s surface
  • Year-round use available for testing in diverse weather conditions. 

A car is driven around the handling loops of Kettering University's GM Mobility Research Center.


  • The road course features a large oval with a width of 15-feet.
  • The road course also features S-curves, elevation and surface changes and straightaways.
  • The track is ideal for V2V and V2I testing.
  • The road course is able to be used in conjunction with the test pad.


  • Kettering University is the only university in the country operating its own private 4G LTE advanced wireless cellular research network infrastructure.
  • Operates at 10 times the data speed of current cellular networks.
  • Provides researchers with unique access to next generation of cellular communications systems.
  • System was funded through a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation.
  • The University has three types of wireless: 4G LTE; a/b/g/n/ac (wifi); 802.11p (DSRC).
  • The system has three ways of V2X communications (LTE, DSRC, and/or wifi).