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Google setting up self-driving car testing hub in Phoenix suburb

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

PHOENIX — Internet giant Google may have delayed its high-speed internet operations in Phoenix this week, but the company is continuing with other projects in the area.

On Thursday, Google announced it had reached a deal with city of Chandler, a Phoenix suburb, to establish a hub for its self-driving car operations.

“Our growing team of operations leads and trained test drivers will use this base to maintain our fleet of self-driving vehicles and expand testing in the Metro Phoenix area,” Lauren Barrie with Google said. “The building is still under construction, and we hope to finish renovations early next year.”

The facility will be located in west Chandler, but no other details were released.

Barrie said Google is testing its self-driving cars in parts of Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa and Gilbert, in addition to Chandler.

The company has been road-testing its self-driving cars in the Phoenix area since April. It has deployed four Lexus SUVs along with human drivers to operate and test the vehicles.

The tests have been relatively safe, but three of its cars have been involved in non-injury crashes in the Phoenix area.

Drivers can give Google feedback on how the cars behaved on the roads via a website.

Google is not the only company to test self-driving cars in Arizona. Ford began doing so at its facility in Wittman in March, and Uber and General Motors are also using the Grand Canyon State has a testing ground.

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