Alphabet’s autonomous driving subsidiary Waymo says is working with TRC (Transportation Research Center), an independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds in Ohio, to co-develop an exclusive testing environment for the Waymo Driver vehicle system.
The testing facility will model a dense urban environment, which Waymo says will enable it to test scenarios that may never be encountered on public roads during the development of its fifth generation of autonomous driving (AD) software and hardware. According to the company, the test area will be built to its own specific requirements, although it will also use TRC’s other test facilities, including those for truck testing.
In addition to the TRC project, Waymo is also progressing with a new testing facility for trucks in Menlo Park, California. The company says it will move into the new facility in 2021, which will serve as the base for an expansion of its truck automation project in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, the company is testing trucks in the vicinity of its HQ in Mountain View, California, running along Interstate 10 through Phoenix, Tucson, New Mexico and Texas.
Waymo says that together the two facilities will enable it to further advance its developments across multiple vehicle platforms, including its fleet of Jaguar I-Pace EVs as well as Class 8 trucks, while also encompassing as wide a range of test environments as possible.