Google to expand tests of self-driving cars in Texas with its own prototypes

Over the weekend, kids at a local event in the Texas capital said the car looked like "the future"

Google will for the first time take its marshmallow-shaped self-driving car beyond its home turf in California and onto the streets of Austin, Texas.

In the next few weeks, Google will start testing a few of its prototype vehicles in the area north and northeast of downtown Austin, the company said Monday. The cars will navigate the same area where Google's Lexus SUV self-driving vehicles have been for the last couple months.

Both sets of vehicles will continue to have human drivers on board for the testing, Google said.

The company said in July that Austin would be the next location for tests of its self-driving cars, but Google did not say whether the tests would include the Google-designed prototype.

Bringing the cars to Austin will allow Google to test its vehicles in a location with road conditions, traffic patterns and driving situations that differ from those in Google's home base in Mountain View, California, the company has said.

Over the weekend, Google held an event at a children's museum in Austin with its cars on display.

During a question and answer session, kids said the prototype vehicle looked like a gumdrop, a bug, a computer mouse, and "the future," Google said in a blog post on Monday.

In a self-driving car, kids said they'd most enjoy eating tacos and reading, Google said.

A spokeswoman for the Austin Transportation Department said there is no Texas law that would require Google to receive the department's approval for testing.

Bryce Bencivengo, a spokesman at Austin City Hall, said that from a regulatory standpoint, self-driving cars in Austin are currently treated the same way as regular cars, and must obey all traffic laws. The results of Google's tests might pave a way forward to create a framework for new self-driving car regulations, he said.

Google self driving car Martyn Williams
A Google self-driving car navigates streets near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?