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User-proved Michigan Central Station Impact Area

With Nervtech, the Michigan Impact Area visitors, workers and residents will be able to have a say in newly proposed mobility solutions.

Photo of Kristina Stojmenova
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Due to the ever-evolving changes in traffic and mobility, new mobility solutions emerge every day. Nevertheless, not all of them are always beneficial or highly accepted by the end users, often resulting in supreme technological and infrastructure solutions, which can be completely useless to the average Joe. 

We at Nervtech aim to change this. Our VISE (Virtual Infrastructure Simulation and Evaluation) service offers evaluation of road sections with “human in the loop” procedure. It consists of virtual infrastructure simulation of planned road designs tested by end users using a driving simulator in early design stages. This enables optimisation of cost and performance of planned road sections, since the cost of design changes is much lower in early design phases. Furthermore, VISE can also be used for evaluation of existing road sections and proposals for their optimisation, by visually simulating and testing any potential changes and improvements.

With this service, real drivers test and evaluate the newly designed road section in a high-fidelity motion-based driving simulator, which represents a safe, yet equally engaging driving environment. An important part of this solution is also the digitisation and virtualisation of new road sections using Building Information Modelling (BIM).

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

This solution is primarily an end-user service, which evaluates the user experience and road usability, and includes the end-user (in this case Michigan Central Station impact area residents, workers and visitors) as an important decision maker in the road and future mobility design process. The basic intention of VISE is to recreate and evaluate existing or newly designed infrastructure and mobility solutions in a virtual environment. This allows detection of potential bad designs already in the early stage, saving millions in potential needed repairs after construction. Additionally, it allows direct involvement of the end user in the decision process and ensures maximum user experience and acceptance of new mobility solutions.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Within the evaluation process, we gather driver's gaze and driving performance indicators. Based on the Pilot results, the road markings and placement of road signs were changed in order to improve driving safety and better user-experience.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

From 20 people in our team, 18 have a university degree and 5 are PhDs. Their background is in electrical, informatics, machine learning, data analysis, mechanics, and business development. The average age of Nervtech employees is 33 and 25% are women. Nervtech is advised by Jure Leskovec, Chief Data scientist at Pinterest and Professor at Stanford, and Steve Girsky, Managing Partner of VectoIQ and member of Board of Directors at General Motors. Website URL:

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Team or Organization URL

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $150,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

The money will be used for creating the virtual replica of the Michigan Central Station Impact Area, shipping the Nervtech driving simulator to Detroit and performing a user study with at least 100 local residents, workers and visitors for evaluation of a design of a specific new infrastructure improvement.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

1. step - Creation of virtual environment 2. step - Collecting data for needed improvements of the infrastructure of the Area 3. step - Define the identified problem and collect users suggestions for improvements 4. step - Create the solution in a virtual environemt 5. step - Evaluate the proposed solution with a user study in Nervtech driving simulator 6. step - Analyse gathered data 7. step - Correct solution based on data from the user study 8. step - Present solution to authorities to correct the identified infrastructure problem with evaluated and user approved solution

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

The KPIs of this project are going to be: KPI 1. Completed virtual Michigan Central Station Impact Area KPI 2. Proposed solution for 1 identified infrastructure problem in the area KPI 3. Completed user study with residents, visitors and workers KPI 4. Completed big data analysis and evaluation report on the usability and usefulness of the existing state and proposed new solution of the identified infrastructure problem

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Yes, the Virtual replica can be used for testing of any emerging changes in the infrastructure, mobility solutions or any new concepts that may want to be used and implemented in this area.

Social Media

Twitter: @NervtechSIM Facebook:

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Mackenzie Fankell

Kristina Stojmenova Thank you for posting about your organization! I am a Michigan central station challenge facilitator. I am curious, how has your simulator been used in other communities to make recommendations? Does your organization simulate public transportation and ride sharing? Or is it strictly for individual vehicles? Thank you!