Google to test self-driving tech in Austin

Google to test self-driving tech in Austin

Google has selected Austin, Texas, as the next testing locale for its fleet of self-driving vehicles, the internet search giant announced early on Tuesday.

Google has been testing autonomous vehicles since 2009, but most of that testing has occurred around the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. The move to Austin will allow Google to evaluate its self-driving tech in a new environment with a different set of challenges.

“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,” Google said in a statement.

Google will be using one of its signature Lexus SUVs in Austin. The tech company also has a small, bubble-like autonomous vehicle in its fleet, but so far that vehicle has been limited to runs in and around Silicon Valley.

Although Google has no immediate plans to produce an autonomous vehicle of its own, the first batch of self-driving vehicles is expected to be ready for a 2020 market launch.

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