Google's self-driving cars hit the road in Arizona to test extreme heat tolerance

In Europe, a convoy of self-driving trucks arrives safely in Rotterdam

Google is expanding its self-driving car trials to Phoenix, Arizona, to test how well its vehicles perform in extreme heat.

"Arizona is known as a place where research and development is welcome, innovation can thrive, and companies can set up roots," Jennifer Haroon, head of business operations for the Google Self-Driving Car project, told Reuters.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"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."

Google has been driving four Lexus RX450h vehicles around the Phoenix area to create detailed maps of the roadways, traffic signals and pavement heights.

Phoenix is the fourth major US location that the tech giant will conduct tests of its autonomous vehicles.

Google has spent six years running trials of its fleet of self-driving cars in Mountain View, California, its home base.

It expanded those trials to Austin, Texas, last summer, and earlier this year began running experiments in Kirkland, Washington, which has significantly rainier weather. 

The tech company has been enthusiastic about getting its autonomous vehicles approved for full road use, but US federal laws have so far stopped it, and other makers of autonomous vehicles, from being able to realise their full ambitions.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

In related news, a convey of 12 self-driving trucks have successfully completed a round trip of Europe.

This was the first time a feat of this kind has been completed on public roads anywhere in the world, according to the EU's Truck Platooning Challenge.

The platoon of 12 connected trucks, from six different brands, travelled 1,300 miles from their manufacturers depots all the way to Rotterdam.

A convoy of this kind differs from Google's autonomous vehicles, which are programmed to deal with a vast number of situations. In this particular case the trucks were following each other on highways and remaining a safe distance apart.

The UK government is planning self-driving truck trials of its on UK motorways later this year.

Image: Google/PR

Featured Resources

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Remote working 2020: Advantages and challenges

Discover how to overcome remote working challenges

Download now

Keep your data available with snapshot technology

Synology’s solution to your data protection problem

Download now

After the lockdown - reinventing the way your business works

Your guide to ensuring business continuity, no matter the crisis

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Ex-Google engineer gets jail time for trade secrets theft
Development

Ex-Google engineer gets jail time for trade secrets theft

5 Aug 2020
TuSimple launches ‘world's first’ autonomous freight network
automation

TuSimple launches ‘world's first’ autonomous freight network

1 Jul 2020
Argo AI closes $2.6 billion deal with Volkswagen
automation

Argo AI closes $2.6 billion deal with Volkswagen

2 Jun 2020
Will 5G transform the connected car market?
5G

Will 5G transform the connected car market?

26 May 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?
operating systems

How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?

3 Aug 2020