Google sets new challenges for its driverless cars

Published Date: 13th Apr 2016

The search engine giant Google, have unleashed its new self driving SUV’s in the form of the Lexus RX450h in Phoenix, Arizona. The fleet will improve the existing navigation data by providing more accurate mapping, traffic signals, curb heights and lane markers.

Jennifer Haroon, The head of business operations for the self driving car program said, “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.” She further commented, "Driving in new cities enables our engineers to further refine our software and adapt to these different environments."

Where else is Google testing this new car technology?

Phoenix is the fourth testing are Google has used for the program, other places include Mountain View-California, Austin-Texas, and Kirkland-Washington. The range of different locations offers a range of different weather conditions, which is all valuable data for Google.

The 54-strong self-driving fleet has driven a total of 1.5 million miles so far. Jennifer Haroon has stated, the main goal is to create safety and confidence while also offering convenience, they will also continue to expand testing to create challenging situations to ensure safety levels are at the highest standard.

Google are probably looking at pastures new after new road laws were passed in California and became more restrictive on the project requiring an automated car to have a fully licensed driver, brake pedals and a steering wheel.