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Self-driving cars—well, soccer mom vans—will hit Atlanta streets again

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Waymo will roll out autonomous vehicles for testing in the city

A white van topped by a camera.
A Waymo van.
Waymo

The next time you see a minivan cruise down the streets of Atlanta, it may not be a soccer mom behind the wheel.

In fact, there may not be anyone behind the wheel.

Waymo—formerly ​the ​Google ​self-driving ​car ​project—has announced it will be testing an autonomous Chrysler Pacifica fleet in Atlanta. The Verge reports the trials here will give the company the chance to analyze the vans as part of a 24-city test.

Waymo didn’t divulge many details, but told the website that mapping of downtown Atlanta had begun last week.

So far, the vehicles have rolled out in cities across the country, including Phoenix, San Francisco, Austin, Detroit, and Kirkland, Washington. This range of cities has offered different terrains and weather conditions.

In Arizona, for instance, the cars have even been given free rein on roads, running without human safety drivers behind the wheel. Ultimately, Waymo hopes the technology will be harnessed for ride-hailing services.

This isn’t the first time autonomous vehicles will drive through Atlanta. Late last year, Transdev unveiled mini driverless buses along North Avenue, which has been identified as a smart corridor.

According to The Verge, testing in Atlanta will provide the chance to see the vans operate in a “relatively snow-free environment.”

Maybe we shouldn’t tell them about this winter.