Google has been testing its autonomous cars on public roads for a total of 1.4 million miles in distance around Mountain View, California and Austin, Texas. The testing aims to collect as many data as possible about different road conditions to cover as many scenarios as possible and when the autonomous cars release to the public, they are able to make decisions while keeping their passengers safe and sound.
Google recently announced that it is bringing the autonomous car testing to Kirkland, Washington.
Jennifer Haroon, head of business operations for Google self driving project said that they have strong roots in Kirkland having established an office there a decade ago. She added that Kirkland had always been welcoming to Google and expanding their testing program there would give their self driving cars some new learning experiences and let them hear from different communities as they develop the technology.
Kirkland has wet weathers and hills which allows Google’s engineers to further refine their software and adapt to different environments from different angles and elevations. The company is bringing its modified Lexus RX450h SUVs for this testing.
Unfortunately, the testing is limited to a few square miles in North Kirkland as a detailed maps needed for Google’s autonomous cars to be able to work properly. Most probably, the company will expand to more areas of the city to build a more detailed map.