Google's self-driving cars are being tested in four cities. Is one near you?

google driverless car project report may2016 googles lexus rx 450h self driving 930x749  wikipedia
From all the press and attention Google’s self-driving cars get you’d think it would be difficult to turn a corner in a major U.S. city without seeing one. The reality is a bit different, however, and the latest Google Self-Driving Car Project Monthly Report has the details.

So in total, while you might have guessed at least a couple hundred cars were roaming around the nation, as of May 31 there were 58 vehicles in Google’s Self-Driving Car testing. Of those, 24 are Lexus RX450h SUVs and 34 are those cute little white prototype vehicles you see in most of the photos. The report doesn’t say exactly how many of each vehicle type are in the four current testing locations. We know, however, that at least some of the RX450h’s are in Phoenix because when the notice went out in May about Google hiring drivers for the Self-Driving project, the job listings were for the Phoenix area.

The four cities where Google’s self-driving project is testing cars are Austin, Texas; Kirkland, Washington; Mountain View, California, and Phoenix. Detroit will be added to the list soon when Google opens its new project center in the Motor City. That will be where at least some of the 100 Pacificas Google is getting from Fiat Chrysler Automotive will be tested.

The cars in Google’s project always have someone behind the wheel just in case. According to the job description for the Phoenix area, there’s a driver at the wheel and a second person in the front passenger seat monitoring and entering data in a computer. Since 2009, when the testing began, the various Google self-driving cars have racked up 1,644,154 miles in total autonomous mode controlled by software and 1,120,512 miles in manual mode when the drivers have full control.

Currently, the Google cars are putting on 10-15,000 miles a week, or an average of 172 to 258 miles per car, assuming they’re traveling roughly equal distances. It’s a fair bet that in monthly reports later this year those numbers will rise dramatically.


Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…

Photography news: Careful, self-driving cars can ruin your camera sensor

In this week's photography news, learn how self-driving cars destroyed a digital camera via lasers. Find out how many patents Canon filed for in 2018. Read about what Tamron lenses are available for the Nikon Z6.

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.