Enlarge / The fleet is under construction right now and should be on the road in early 2017. (credit: Waymo)
Google used to keep most details about its self-driving car program under wraps.

But in the last few months, the self-driving car team—now a separate subsidiary called Waymo—has been making a concerted effort to open up and share key details with high-profile media outlets.
In May, Waymo revealed key details of its latest self-driving car design to Bloomberg as part of the rollout of a new program that ferries ordinary passengers around in Phoenix. Now The Atlantic‘s Alexis Madrigal has a new piece revealing important details about Waymo’s extensive infrastructure for testing self-driving cars.
Madrigal reports on two Waymo projects that haven’t been previously made public. One is an extensive virtual city in the California desert 100 miles east of Silicon Valley. Named Castle after the former Castle Air Force Base, the facility hosts a network of private roads for testing self-driving vehicles.
It’s a proprietary cousin of Mcity, the open vehicle testing facility we visited in 2015.

At the Castle facility, Waymo builds replicas of real intersections—like a two-lane roundabout in Texas—that have given Waymo cars trouble.
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