Atlanta could be next for a full-fledged self-driving car program, following in the footsteps of Phoenix, where Google-owned Waymo is already picking up residents in cars with no drivers. Waymo tweeted Monday that it has targeted the Big Peach for an evolving series of self-driving car tests.
Hello ATL! Metro Atlanta is the next stop for Waymo's test program. Now that we have the world's first fully self-driving vehicles on public roads in AZ, we're looking to take our tech to more cities. pic.twitter.com/YFLvxkVMMd
— Waymo (@Waymo) January 22, 2018
In addition to Austin and Phoenix, Atlanta provides another relatively snow-free environment for Waymo to test its vehicles. The city, which is very flat, is incredibly car-centric, too; only 16 percent of households are without a vehicle. Atlanta’s metro system, MARTA, hasn’t expanded much since the 1980s. But in 2016 residents voted in favor of a half-penny sales tax increase to fund a $1.2 billion light rail loop along the BeltLine, a former rail corridor that’s been transformed into a park and trail. New transit centers would be built and the underperforming Atlanta Streetcar would extend east and west to connect with the BeltLine.