Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is known for its extreme temperatures and dusty weather. The extreme heat and dust may not be the most flattering features of the city. But, it is the reason why Google has selected Phoenix, as the fourth testing ground for its self driving cars. According to Reuters, Google is currently using is the Lexus RX450h SUVs for testing. The cars are being used to create detailed maps of streets, traffic signals, lane markers and curb heights. All this information is required by Google self-driving cars to operate in the area.
“The Phoenix area has distinct desert conditions. Which will help us better understand how our sensors and cars, handle extreme temperatures, and dust in the air.” said Jennifer Haroon (project’s head of business operations).
Apart from the weather conditions of Phoenix, there is another reason why Google has chosen to conduct testing of self-driving cars in Phoenix. According to Google, in Arizona innovations and new technological ideas are welcomed. That is another reason why the city was selected.
“Arizona is known as a place where research and development are welcome, innovation can thrive, and companies can set up roots.” -Jennifer Harron.
The comment might be directed towards California, where last year, the state’s DMV had proposed to outlaw the autonomous vehicles. The state of Califonia is Google’s home turf. The company had conducted self-driving car tests for six years in Mountain View, California. Google has done testing in different environment earlier like last summer it expanded the autonomous car testing to Austin and Texas. In order to test in wet weather Kirkland, Washington was also made the self-driving car’s testing site in February.
Last month, Rueter reported that the company has been expanding its self-driving car team lately. Recently, Google hired ex-Apple global supply manager Daniel Munoz. The recent hires by the company suggest, that Google is looking for best approaches to mass market the autonomous vehicles.
Google’s self-driving cars have been in development phase for a long time. It will probably take quite some time when the self-driving cars will be available in the mass market. But one thing is for sure, whenever it arrives, the autonomous vehicle will revolutionalize travel.
What are your thoughts on the Google self-driving car? Are you looking forward to it, Or are you one of those who prefer to have the steering wheel in their hands?