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Self-driving in snow: Waymo to start tests in Michigan

October 26, 2017

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, a Chrysler Pacifica hybrid outfitted with Waymo's suite of sensors and radar is shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Waymo, formerly Google’s self-driving car division and now part of Alphabet Inc., said Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, it will start testing on public roads in suburban Detroit. The company uses Chrysler Pacifica minivans equipped with cameras, sensors and self-driving software. Backup drivers will be at the wheel for safety reasons. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Waymo’s autonomous vehicles are heading to Michigan for some cold-weather testing.

The Google spinoff, which is now owned by Alphabet Inc., says it will start testing next week on public roads in suburban Detroit. The company uses Chrysler Pacifica minivans equipped with cameras, sensors and self-driving software. Backup drivers will be at the wheel for safety reasons.

Waymo has been testing in cold weather for about five years, and has tested its vehicles in the snowy mountains near Lake Tahoe. The company says the Michigan tests will build on that experience. Waymo also is testing vehicles in Arizona, California, Texas and other states.

Waymo has had a research center in Michigan since 2016, but this is the first time it will be testing in the state.

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