Company to begin testing self-driving cars in metro Atlanta

Waymo, the driverless car division owned by Google's parent company, announced Monday that it will bring its test program to metro Atlanta.

The Alphabet-owned business began mapping roads in the city last week, but had not yet released details about the testing.

Waymo uses self-driving cars, which in Atlanta are white Chrysler Pacifica vans, that operate by using 3D maps of the roads, curbs, signs and other features. The company is testing autonomous vehicles in 24 cities and plans to deploy its cars for ride-hailing in Arizona later this year. Waymo declined to discuss future plans for its services in Atlanta.

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Unlike other self-driving cars on the market, Waymo does not require any human assistance behind the wheel. The company has been testing this technology since 2009.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Georgians are "thrilled to welcome Waymo to our state because fully self-driving vehicle technology holds tremendous potential to improve road safety." Deal signed a bill in May that would allow self-driving cars to operate on public roads.

On Twitter, Waymo thanked Deal for the "warm welcome."

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