Google announced in July that it’d be taking its self-driving car test on the road…to beautiful Austin. It has done just that, and the company looks to be expanding the tests it’s doing as well. Texas is the fifth state to legalize the self-driving technology.
According to Google, the tests are now involving those little tiny two-seat “Google Cars”
and this time there are no humans behind the wheel at all. UPDATE: Google tells us that the cars will still have a safety driver for this round of testing.
The fun part of the expansion is that each city has its own unique complications and that means that local press gets to ask funny questions like how the car will hold up against a deer:
“Yes, it can handle deer,” said Jennifer Haroon, head of business operations for Google’s self-driving car project.
Whew. Good to know. Wait. Handle them how? Let’s assume Google means the car can swerve around a deer. Moving along. It’s good to know that the Austin community cares about its local animals.
Up until now, the self-driving cars have been tested with safety humans (isn’t that a cute term?) behind the wheel outside of Mountain View. That means that a driver could take over for the self-driving car at any moment to avoid something bigger than a deer, or if the driver got hungry and wanted to divert the test to a McDonalds for lunch. Austin now gets its turn to be freaked out at seeing no people in a car whatsoever. Have fun!
NOTE: If you see a deer behind the wheel of one of these badboys, snap a pic and send it into firstname.lastname@example.org.