Published: Fri, February 03, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Merle Christensen

Google's self-driving vehicle making huge improvements according to DMV data

Google's self-driving vehicle making huge improvements according to DMV data

Extensive testing has been performed on complex suburban and urban streets because Waymo is designing a self-driving vehicle that can take passengers from door to door. A disengagement is when a person takes control over the auto.

Automotive technology company Bosch reported the most disengagements, at 1,442, all of which were the result of a "planned test of technology". Last year, Waymo cars covered 635,868 miles (1,023,330 km) and reported just 124 disengages, compared to 341 disengages in just 424,331 mi (682,895 km) during testing in 2015.

Waymo's head of self-driving technology Dmitri Dolgov recently took to the Internet to reveal that the company saw a big improvement in its autonomous tech previous year.

Ford Motor Co and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz said their self-driving vehicles logged fewer than 1,000 miles each previous year in California, while Honda Motor Co and Volkswagen AG said they did not test self-driving vehicles on public roads in the state.

Autonomous vehicle testing in California is pretty heavily regulated. The list of disengagements includes the VIN of the autonomous vehicle, the date and cause of disengagement, the weather, road class and even the time it took for the driver to resume control. Waymo, the company spun off from Google past year, experienced an average of one disengagement for every 5127.9 miles traveled, a rate far better than its competitors reported.

Some vehicle makers reported fewer disengagements but none came close to the number of autonomous miles Google's Waymo reported on California's roads. Mercedes reported 336 disengagement over 673 miles in autonomous mode. California's Department of Motor Vehicles released its annual autonomous vehicle disengagement report and Waymo, Google self driving project is getting better.

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For one example, Tesla's report would seem to pale in comparison to Waymo's exploits.

For 2016, 10 other companies aside from Waymo submitted their disengagement reports.

Here's a breakdown for each company that submitted a report.

The most common reasons for interventions in Waymo cars were "software discrepancies, unwanted manoeuvres of the vehicle and perception discrepancies", according to the company. It went from driving fewer than five miles in June 2015, to almost 400 in June 2016.

Cruise Automation, a company owned by General Motors and based in San Francisco, revealed that it is testing 20 autonomous 2017 Chevrolet Bolts and five autonomous Nissan Leafs, two from the 2012 model year and three from the 2016 model year.

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