It chose six local artist whose designs will be featured on the side of the vehicles. The artists each received a $500 gift card and the opportunity to ride in one of the driverless cars.
In September, Google began testing its self-driving prototype vehicles on Austin streets. The cars have test drivers onboard but the cars are doing the driving. They come equipped with removed steering wheel, accelerator pedal and break pedal that allow the test drivers to take over if necessary. This is the only location outside of Google’s headquarters of Mountain View, California, where the cars are being tested on city streets.
“The artists include a recent University of Texas graduate, a 93-year-old resident of a retirement home, an artist from Art from the Streets—a free and open studio in Austin that serves the homeless community—as well as professional artists and designers,” according to Google. “Artwork will be featured on the cars early next year.”
The contest was part of Google’s “Paint the Town: Austin.” It invited Austin residents to submit artwork for the Google cars with the theme, “my community, my neighbors.”
“The diversity of entries shows the passion Austinites have for art and the community,” Jennifer Haroon, head of business for Google’s self driving car project, said in a news release. “We saw a varied group of artists and even selected a mother and daughter by pure coincidence.”The artists include Anna Vaught, daughter of Catherine Malloy, with a picture of people enjoying the lake. Malloy’s design features people viewing the bats flying out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset. Annette Neu’s artwork featured a record player. Andy Nelson’s designed featured an armadillo and a guitar. Florence Swanson, who resides at a senior living facility, created a design of a man with his guitar. Cathy Carr Hayes works with Art from the Streets, and her depiction of Austin was designed to inspire happiness and warmth through various types of art.