Self-driving cars now in Chandler for testing

Posted at 8:19 AM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 22:01:04-04

The City of Chandler is the first Arizona city to see self-driving cars on the roads. 

According to the city, four of Google's self-driving cars have already taken to the streets to map out streets and get a feel for desert driving.

"It a different infrastructure here. Different weather conditions here. It's really just a chance for us to learn," said Jennifer Haroon with Google.

Google has three other locations across the country where current test drives are being performed, including Mountain View, Calif., Kirkland, Wash., and Austin, Texas.

Company officials say they will test the cars in Chandler before spreading out to all parts of the Valley.

Four white Lexus SUVs are being used for the tests.

Haroon says Google's ultimate goal is to make driving safer.

"Thirty three thousand people still die on our roads every year. And in fact 94 percent of those crashes are due to human error and that's really the area we think we can address," said Haroon.

Mayor Jay Tibshraeny says having Google testing the self-driving cars in Chandler is a huge honor.

“Google is a perfect fit; adding to our growing list of technology companies doing business in Chandler," he said in a news release.  "This decision by Google cements our reputation as the premiere innovation and technology hub of the Southwest."

Residents and visitors in Chandler will be seeing even more self-driving cars in the area as part of the expanding test project.

Company officials say Google hopes to help make a driverless car commercially available in the next few years.