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Tesla expands in-house Self-Driving testing to Phoenix

Tesla is expanding its in-house Autopilot and Full Self-Driving testing to Phoenix, Arizona, which is already a hub for self-driving tests.

Over the last few years, Tesla has been criticized for not reporting autonomous test mileage in California.

The California DMV makes companies who are testing autonomous vehicles in the state submit yearly “disengagement reports” to release details about each time their autonomous test vehicles had to be disengaged.

In its report back in 2016, Tesla reported having four self-driving Model X prototypes driving just over 500 autonomous miles on public roads. As we reported based on sources, the mileage was mainly for producing video demonstrations of what they could do with their newly launched hardware suite at the time.

Since then, Tesla hasn’t submitted any autonomous test miles in California for its vehicles until earlier this year, and again, it was to produce a video demonstration.

To explain the lack of autonomous mile reporting, Tesla claims to mainly be testing its autonomous driving technology in “shadow mode” on its existing fleet and at other locations than California public roads, which enables them to not log those miles with the DMV.

It has never been clear where, other than California, Tesla is testing its Autopilot and self-driving system prototype.

Earlier this year, we learned that Tesla is looking to hire Autopilot test drivers in Austin, Texas.

Now, we learned that Tesla is expanding its test program to Phoenix, Arizona, according to a new Tesla job posting spotted by Electrek.

In the description of the role, Tesla mentioned that the new hire would be testing “autonomous vehicles”:

“We are looking for a highly motivated individual to accelerate our vehicle-level testing for autonomous vehicles. The ADAS Test Operator will help drive Tesla’s Autopilot by testing daily Autopilot firmware updates. The role requires someone who is highly organized, objectively focused when making judgements, and confident in their ability to manage their own daily routine.”

Tesla said that while the role is based in Phoenix, the new hire might have to travel “to domestic and international destinations” and test vehicles on “public roads, test tracks and Proving Grounds.”

Phoenix has become a hub for autonomous vehicle testing. Most notably, Waymo is running the first version of its autonomous ride-hailing service.

Over the last few months, Tesla has been pushing its Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software to a limited group of Tesla vehicle owners in order to test an early version of the company’s autonomous driving system, but not much is known about Tesla’s internal testing.

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