Driverless Cars Still Require Human Intervention

Self-driving cars are racking up the miles in test mode but in many cases, the backup drivers in those cars have had to take over.

Autonomous vehicles in California have driven more than 2 million miles during the most recent reporting period, according to the latest disengagement reports submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The annual report submitted shows that the vehicles of the 48 companies with test vehicles on the road traveled about 2 million miles compared to 500,000 miles during the previous reporting period.

“Disengagements can occur when a failure of the technology is detected or when the safety driver needs to take control of the vehicle,” states the DMV.

A total of 62 companies have permits to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver on California public roads, and only Alphabet’s Waymo has a permit for driverless testing.



The reports aren’t intended to compare one company to another or reach broad conclusions, but there are notable differences.

Waymo, which logged 1.2 million autonomous miles on California roads in 2018, did the best, with .09 disengagements per 1,000 self-driven miles, a 50% decrease in the rate from the previous year.

Next was GM Cruise, with .19 disengagements per 1,000 autonomous miles driven.

Apple, on the other hand, did not score so well, at the bottom of the list with 872 disengagements per 1,000 miles driven, according to an overall tally by “The Last Driver License Holder.”

The self-driving cars are not yet totally self-driving cars, but the testing and learnings continue.

2 comments about "Driverless Cars Still Require Human Intervention".
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  1. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , February 14, 2019 at 8:50 p.m.

    Being a driverless  car driver has to be a nerve racking job. They are paid to babysit a car that should drive it's self.  BUT, because it's just a cluster of plastic circuit boards for brains, it's destined to fail. Meanwhile, the paid driverless driver has to be on the look out for the car doing stupid things and systems failure.  In other words he's got to be on his toes even more so than if he was driving the car himself, watching for things like the car turning right and the wheels don't come back to straight position, that guy has to have split second reflexes.  Hope the pay is good, speaking of much does it cost to E-Quip a vehicle with the circuit boards and sensors??

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, February 14, 2019 at 9:41 p.m.

    Good points, Mark.

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