With Google’s ever growing fleet of self driving vehicles logging plenty of testing miles in California, the company has announced that it will be venturing into the new ground with new testing that is set to take place in Austin Texas.
The tech giant has been testing autonomous vehicles since 2009, but prior to its announcement yesterday, the bulk of the company’s testing had taken place primarily near its corporate headquarters in Mountain View California. The switch to Austin would allow the company to test its self-driving technology in a new environment while also allowing the system to tackle new challenges that would have otherwise been unavailable in California.
“It’s important for us to get experience testing our software in different driving environments, traffic patterns, and road conditions–so we’re ready to take on Austin’s pedicabs, pickup trucks, and everything in between” stated Google in an accompanying release.
The company also revealed how it plans to take on this new locale by revealing that it will be sending one of its trademark Lexus SUV test vehicles to Austin where it should prove to be a suitable choice for Austin’s traffic and road conditions. In addition to the fore-mentioned Lexus, Google does have a self engineered car of its own that it has been testing. But unlike the Lexus, the bubble shaped two door has been limited to runs primarily in Silicon Valley due to its fragile nature as well as its status as a prototype.
Currently, Google does not have any immediate plans to begin producing autonomous vehicles for the mass market, but look for the first batch of Google self-driving vehicles to be ready in the not too distant future, possibly arriving as a 2020 launch.