Google testing self-driving Lexus SUVs in Phoenix area

Google testing self-driving Lexus SUVs in Phoenix area

Tech giant Google has revealed, via a Thursday Google+ post, that it has started testing its self-driving Lexus SUVs in cars Phoenix this week, to gauge the performance of the cars in Arizona's scorching summer.

Revealing that the self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs are being driven on the dusty roads of Phoenix this week, Google said that the key objective behind the testing of the self-driving vehicles in Phoenix is to generate a map of the streets, traffic lights, lane markers, and curbs in and around Phoenix.

The information which the self-driving SUVs gather about the Phoenix area will eventually make its way into the technology embedded in the self-driving vehicles, so as to facilitate their self-navigation of the city.

About Google's move to test its self-driving cars on Phoenix roads, Jennifer Haroon -- chief of business operations for the Google Self-Driving Car project -- said in a recent statement that the "distinct desert conditions" of the Phoenix area will help Google's Self-Driving Car team "better understand how our sensors and cars handle extreme temperatures and dust in the air."

With Google already testing its self-driving vehicles in three locations -- Mountain View, California; Austin, Texas; and Kirkland, Washington -- Haroon said: "Driving in new cities enables our engineers to further refine our software and adapt to these different environments."