Coming to a neighborhood near you.
Ever since certain states put laws in motion to stop automakers from testing autonomous vehicles, brands looking to create self-driving cars have had to switch into high gear. Google has recently announced plans to expand its self-driving car testing to Kirkland, Washington. The trial program will also be expanded to Austin, Texas and Mountain, View California. According to a company blog post, “after self-driving 1.4 million miles, we’re ready to give our cars more experience driving new environments, traffic patterns, and road conditions.”
While Mountain View and Austin have dry, sunny days, Kirkland is a more challenging environment for Google’s autonomous vehicles. Kirkland has an annual rainfall amount that is near the US average and the city even gets light snowfall, which would be new territory for a self-driving car. The plan to expand will heavily rely on Google’s fleet of modified Lexus RX450h crossovers. There’s no word on whether Google’s bespoke two-seater will also make the trips to the cities.