New figures show that Mercedes driverless cars being tested in California have needed human intervention approximately every 1.3 miles, and other makes are totally reliant on frequent switching to manual.
The Register has analysed “disengagement report” statistics from the Californian Department for Motor Vehicles which logs the times when an autonomous car was taken over by the human tester during the autonomous vehicle companies’s testing in the state.
19 companies reported, including seven which did not do any testing on Californian public roads.
“At the top of the list was Waymo, which completed 567,365km (352,544 miles) with 75 cars, and 63 disengagements,” the report says. “That works out at a fairly respectable one disengagement every 9,005km (5,595 miles), which is roughly between a third and half of the average individual’s total annual driving distance.
“Second was General Motors’ Cruise, driving 86 cars a total of 211,910km (131,675 miles). It had 105 disengagements, or one every 2,018km (1,254 miles). However, GM’s fleet was involved in 22 collisions last year, and two already this year, which doesn’t look fantastic compared to Google/Waymo’s three crashes in 2017.
“The other manufacturers on the list drove far fewer vehicles and total miles, but many had far more disengagements. Mercedes-Benz, for example, drove three vehicles 1,749km (1,087 miles), but required 842 disengagements, equal to one disengage every 2.07km (1.29 miles) (although only 240 of these were due to the test driver’s decision, the rest being automatic). Electronics behemoth Bosch also fared poorly, disengaging its three cars 598 times over 2,340km (1,454 miles), or once per 3.9km (2.43 miles).”