Google Test-Drives Self-Driving Cars In Austin, Texas

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Google Test-Drives Self-Driving Cars In Austin, Texas
google_car by sam_churchill on 2012-05-21 08:33:10

Google’s self-driving cars have recently been spotted deep in the heart of Texas. The tech giant is apparently testing out its autonomous vehicles in the state capital of Austin.

Google test-drives cars in Texas

Google officially announced that it had just rolled out its autonomous cars in downtown Austin. The reason the tech giant chose Austin to test-drive the vehicles is because of the city’s love for innovation. The Texas capital also offers Google Fiber and is home to several of the company’s offices.

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As part of the testing program, the cars will have two safety drivers riding in them. The search giant had to obtain permission from the city’s governor, Greg Abbott, Texas’ Department of Transportation, police, and other local authorities. Google neglected to alert the media and the public about the cars before they hit the road, which caused concern about whether the car testing was legal.

Google opens up about safety

Another big concern regarding self-driving cars is safety. The tech giant shared the details of the 11 minor accidents its cars were involved in. One of the more notable accidents was when the car hit a Lexus back in May:

A Google Lexus model AV was travelling southbound on Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View in autonomous mode and was stopped behind traffic at a red light at the intersection of Shoreline Boulevard and El Camino Real. A vehicle approaching from behind collided with the rear bumper and sensor of the Google AV. The approximate speed of the other vehicle at the time of impact was 1 MPH. There were no injuries reported at the scene by either party. The Google AV sustained minor damage to its rear sensor and bumper. There was no visible damage to the other vehicle.

None of the accidents involving the self-driving cars were serious. Google hopes to keep its safe driving record.

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