Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has announced that Washington will be the third state to grace its self-driving cars.
The software and tech company revealed that it plans to test its autonomous vehicles in the streets of Washington. The announcement is great news for the state officials who have been trying to convince the company to test its autonomous vehicles in the state particularly in Seattle for four years. Google already has one of its posts in Seattle.
According to the City’s Manager Kurt Triplett, Google had worked with the city on previous projects such as recreational trails and parks and having the self-driving vehicles there would be such a privilege to the city. Seattle officials have already given Google the assurance that the operations will run uninterrupted and in agreement with the state laws. There will, therefore, be no embargo against Google’s automated cars on the streets of Seattle.
Google believes that Seattle is the ideal location to test the autonomous vehicle technology because it rains a lot. This will allow the firm to determine how the vehicles perform in rainy conditions. Google has also received a request from London officials to test out its self-driving vehicles in the English capital.
So far the company has confirmed the launch of the project in Washington and has not communicated whether it will take the project to other regions. Google also revealed that the only vehicle that will be involved in the Seattle mission is the converted hybrid Lexus RX 450h. It has also been revealed that Google plans to venture into self-charging solutions for its autonomous vehicles.
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Sources suggest that the company is carrying out research on resonant magnetic induction, a wireless charging technology that could be used to charge the vehicles in the future. The wireless transmitters could be installed underground or in pavements to charge the vehicles while they are in motion. This technology would help the firm to solve power problems which are one of the problems that the project has been facing.