Google's long-term, self-driving car project will expand to its third state later this month when the Internet monolith company begins testing its autonomous car in Kirkland, Washington.

The announcement came from Alphabet, Inc., the newly named parent company of Google.

Google has tested its autonomous vehicle for six years. According to the company, the vehicles have logged more than 1.4 million miles in Mountain View, California, and in Austin, Texas.

Kirkland, Washington was chosen, according the company, to "experience different driving environments, traffic patterns and road conditions."

Like much of Washington, Kirkland has plenty of rain, averaging about 35 inches per year and about four inches in the month of February. Kirkland also has varied hilly terrain.

Many Carmakers Are In Driverless Car Chase

To help determine routes and map details, Google recently drove a Lexus RX450h a few miles in North Kirkland.

Google has used Toyota and Lexus cars in its autonomous driving experiments.

Google is among several companies, including carmakers Mercedes-Benz, Delphi, Nissan and Audi, among others, in an intense competition to develop and market self-driving cars. The Mercedes-Benz self-driving car was featured in a recent segment of 60 Minutes.

Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington, said in a statement: "We’re looking forward to seeing the cars on the road and understanding more about how self-driving cars might someday improve safety and provide traffic relief."

Nevada, Florida and Michigan were among the first states to pass legislation to allow the use autonomous cars on public roads.

Many other states are considering adopting self-driving car legislation.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has expressed safety concerns about autonomous vehicles. But it has stated it may consider exemptions for a limited number of self-driving vehicles. New national safety guidelines concerning autonomous vehicles are expected to be announced later this year.

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