Waymo self-driving cars set out for Ohio snow at new testing facility

Through a partnership with TRC, the new facility will provide more weather scenarios and complex situations.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
Waymo TRC facility

Waymo, meet Ohio. Ohio, Waymo.


Alphabet's Waymo division is ready to take on the Buckeye State as it announced on Tuesday a new facility in East Liberty, Ohio, to house its self-driving car prototypes. There, Waymo plans to put its Waymo Driver system to work on driving a car entirely by itself, through a complex urban environment within the test track. Also, it sounds like Waymo is excited to tackle more snow. Ohio has plenty.

The new site will come to life via a partnership with the Transportation Research Center, a proving ground that will loan some of its assets to Waymo. Once the company sets up the site, it plans to work on oddball driving situations that most drivers probably won't ever encounter. Then, Waymo can place the Waymo Driver inside a virtual world to "practice" these scenarios as many times as the company wants, in order to make it smarter.

While the new facility in Ohio is good for snow and urban environments, Waymo also announced a second new facility in California for research and development. Based in Menlo Park, near Alphabet's HQ in Mountain View, the workforce there will focus on Class 8 trucks. The company said it should be ready to move into the new facility next year, and it plans to continue expanding its presence in the Bay Area after the fact.

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