Google's project of building self-driving cars is clearly moving forward, they introduced their latest prototype in December 2014 and ever since, those cars have been tested on the streets of Mountain View, California for a while and more recently in the streets of Austin, Texas. The cars are designed to integrate all the necessary sensors and components, and their round shape is meant to maximize the sensor's field of view. They were colored white and gray, but since their purpose is to learn how the community perceives them and how they interact with them, Google wanted to create something special for each city.
That's why they created a contest called "Paint the Town", where local artists were invited to create art pieces to be featured on the doors of these car prototypes. They had to create something around the theme: my community, my neighbors. The winning artists would get the chance to ride one of these cars and a $500 gift card. Now, the cars of Mountain View have been painted with the 10 winning designs and they are already in the garage, so they might be spotted in the streets sporting their new paint job soon. Some artists chose to include animals to represent how people get communicated, others represented some iconic views that can be seen while driving such as famous buildings, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or even some iconic flowers. Others used people and all the different paths they take to get to some places and people are also represented with distinctive elements like hairdos and ornate items, one even used the teal door lighting to represent a fun scene. The winning art pieces and the honorable mentions can be seen in the Google Self-Driving Car Project website.
The contest was available for the cars in Austin as well, but submissions ended on November 1st. The results will be announced in early 2016, up to 5 pieces of art will be selected. The winning pieces will be selected based on how well the theme is represented, the creativity will be evaluated based on the concept, style, and utilization of space and color, and the artistic quality and skill of the artist will also be considered.