Portion of Ely Rd closed for self-driving test

A portion of Ely Road will be closed off for at least the next month and half as experts test out features of a self-driving car.

The National Advanced Driving Simulator will be using its Tesla to see how the car reacts when switching from partial self-driving to manual. It's the autopilot feature that combines adaptive cruise control to maintaining the car in their lane. The study is meant to help gather the information needed so the researchers know how long the car will take to switch back to the driver.

Iowa City Area Development said it's one step closer to autonomous vehicles as a mainstream.

"To see this on our roads and on our highways in a more explicit form is encouraging," said Tom Banta of Iowa City Area Development. "I anticipate seeing more of it in the future but it's a good step in continuing the direction they've been working for years now."

There will be detours along about a mile stretch of Ely Road from Wright Brothers Boulevard East to 76th Avenue Southwest. The exact closure dates are still to be determined.