Google has extended its self-driving car project to a third city in the US.
The company has conducted autonomous vehicle testing for six years in Mountain View, California, where it is based, and it expanded testing to Austin, Texas, last summer.
Google said in a statement that one reason for the new site in Washington is to gain experience in “different driving environments, traffic patterns, and road conditions.”
Washington has significant seasonal rain that allows for wet weather testing, along with hills that will allow testing of sensors at different angles and elevations.
Google began a few weeks ago driving a single Lexus RX450h SUV around a few square miles in Washington to create a detailed map of the streets.
The company says its self-driving software has already been tested in over 1.4m miles of autonomous driving.
The US national highway traffic safety administration told automakers it is willing to exempt up to 2,500 vehicles industry-wide from some auto safety standards for up to two years in a move that could allow Google to get its self-driving cars on US roads.
Safety regulators will write guidelines for self-driving cars within six months.
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