Google starts testing self-driving prototype cars in Austin

Google starts testing self-driving prototype cars in Austin

Tech giant Google has revealed in a recent announcement that it has started testing its self-driving prototype cars in Austin, Texas.

This week, the company will send its second specially equipped Lexus RX450h self-driving prototype to Austin for testing. As part of the tests, Google's self-driving Lexus SUVs will meander through the Austin traffic with computerized perfection.

The testing of the self-driving prototype cars in Austin underscores an expansion of Google's efforts to gather information on how effectively the company's self-driving vehicles can interact with vehicular traffic, road conditions and pedestrians.

Thus far, since 2009, Google has mostly been testing its self-driving cars around its headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Google's move to test its self-driving cars in Austin is noteworthy because Austin is an emerging technology hub in southwest US. About the reaction of the Texas Department of Transportation to Google's testing of self-driving cars in Austin, the company said in a Tuesday press note that the Department has said, "we welcome and support Google's autonomous vehicle test" in Austin.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler also welcomed the move by Google, and said: "We can easily see the potential self-driving cars have to reduce accident rates and congestions, and to provide mobility for people who can't get around easily."

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