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Google's self-driving cars to hit the road in Virginia

Google will start testing its autonomous car tech on the highways of Virginia, according to a new report. The testing is expected to take place on more than 70 miles of congested highways in Northern Virginia.

From Richmond Times Dispatch:

The research will be overseen by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on portions of Interstates 95, 495 and 66 as well as on U.S. 29 and U.S. 50 that are being dubbed Virginia Automated Corridors.Test tracks at the institute's Smart Road in Montgomery County and the Virginia International Raceway in Halifax County will be used to certify technology as safe before the cars are allowed on the highway.

The highways on which Google is set to test the car tech are adjacent to Dulles International Airport, so Google may be looking to run tests in more congested traffic conditions. As the report notes, Virginia joins California, Michigan, Florida, Nevada, and Washington D.C. as the states that currently allow testing of autonomous vehicles.

Source: Richmond Times Dispatch; Via: The Northern Virginia Daily

20 Comments
  • Excellent! I spend loads of time (due to the aforementioned congestion) on 495 and 66 every day - now I can spend all that 'free' time looking for the Google car!
  • All those roads meet and go through Fairfax county (not near Dulles), which must be one of the most congested and heavily trafficked areas in the country outside of LA. I'd say its a great place to get used to insanely bad drivers as well. I'll be on the lookout for them!
  • yup, 95 doesn't go anywhere near Dulles.
  • Nor 495. Honestly, none of those roads really go all that close to Dulles lol. And the area around Dulles isn't particularly congested when comparing it to areas much closer to the beltway.
  • Avoid 295 LMAO Posted via the Android Central App
  • Driverless cars in the mixing bowl. I wanna watch. Hell, I wanna ride in them like some sort of crazy carnival ride.
  • Dude from 'The Oatmeal' cartoons got to ride in one and wrote about it. I'd be surprised if Google didn't let you guys ride in one.
  • If your referring to the highways near the pentagon, then yeah, thats going to be interesting....
  • If I ever have the displeasure of riding in a driverless vehicle I want it to be the size of a tank so that at least I'll know if it ever did get into an accident I would live. These little Google cars wouldn't offer much protection vs an 18 wheeler that decides to take a nap and run you over.
  • I'm with you there. I am gadget crazy, but I will never trust my life to a machine, and they can't make me. I want to be in control. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Would be better off making it a giant sphrere roll-cage that rolls like a hamster ball, like the new Jurassic park movie. Can just see redneck's in pickup trucks bumping these things like bumper cars for fun
  • Bad news, whatever you're driving isn't going to provide much protection against a napping 18 wheeler driver. The Google car will probably notice him drifting before you ever would though.
  • So.. If the insurance lapses, who do they slap the SR22 on?
  • Lol ^^^^^^ Posted via the Android Central App
  • Are there people in these cars monitoring the driving?
  • Washington DC is not a state. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's exactly what I was thinking Posted via the Android Central App LG LS990
  • Google wont be bringing this to India... Everyone knows why :-D Posted via the Android Central App
  • Someone get me some popcorn because this will be entertaining to watch.
  • Richmond VA hotly debating BRT(Bus Rapid Transit.)- and the plan that will delete downtown parking, cause congestion- busses are actually wider than current traffic lanes; at 54 Million taxpayer cost ... are there any prototype autonomous pilot programs for city transportation projects in the works (next 2 years) that could help RVA?