ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Self-driving vehicle manufacturers want to get their cars on the road as soon as possible, so Waymo, the Google spinoff, has extended its original California testing base to other areas, reports CNET.com. Waymo has tested cars in Michigan’s cold weather and is now heading to Florida to see how the vehicles handle rain.
Miami averages nearly 62 inches of rain in the summer, which makes it a great location to rain-test autonomous vehicles. According to the company, rain can create noise in its cars' sensors, and when roads get wet, people start behaving and driving differently.
Waymo's Florida tests will start on a closed course in Naples, where the company will “torture-test” its cars’ sensors and cameras in heavy rain. Then, Waymo plans to put its cars on public roads around Miami to collect more data, although the vehicles will have human drivers.
Experts expect Florida to become more popular among autonomous auto developers, thanks to a recently enacted state law that lifted restrictions that previously stood in the way of testing.