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Google is getting better and better with autonomous driving

03 February, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Abraham Jackson
  • Google is getting better and better with autonomous driving

"This is just more evidence of the gulf between Waymo and all other companies in terms of testing and execution of self-driving systems", said Gartner analyst Mike Ramsey. Most times, the driver took control within 1 second, although Tesla noted that longer times might be attributed to being on straight roads or driving at low speeds with no local traffic. For example, Waymo (formerly known as Google's self-driving division) logged just 124 disengagements (PDF) over 635,868 autonomous miles driven, an average of one disengagement every 5,000 driverless miles.

Waymo touted the results of the report in a blog post authored by the company's head of self-driving technology, Dmitri Dolgov.

The rate that drivers had to assume control due to a technology failure also declined by 89 percent, from 0.64 in 2015 to 0.07 in 2016, while disengagements for safety reasons fell by a smaller 19 percent over the period, from 0.16 to 0.13.

Thus, this report clearly indicates that autonomous systems are getting better and better day by day and soon we will see them on roads too.

According to a disengagement report published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles which tracks the number of times a self-driving auto has to turn off its AI and handover control to the driver, Waymo's disengagement rate has been at an all-time low indicating that it is dangerously close to hitting full autonomy in driving. This includes Tesla, which also ran limited disengagement tests on its cars. That's down from 0.8 disengagements per 1,000 miles in 2015. Waymo, the company spun off from Google previous year, experienced an average of one disengagement for every 5127.9 miles traveled, a rate far better than its competitors reported.

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Meanwhile BMW recorded one disengagement in its 638 miles of autonomous driving in March and April 2016, because lane markings on Highway 101 were not clear enough. You can read the other disengagement reports here.

Eleven companies had to submit annual reports to the state last month.

With the 11 companies reporting 2648 disengagements in 2016, not everyone was ready to celebrate any improvements in the overall state of autonomous technology.

There are now 21 companies registered with the state to test self-driving vehicles on the road. Volkswagen and Honda, which both logged miles in 2015, both reported they had logged zero miles in their 2016 reports.

Late past year, Tesla began testing four autonomous cars on public roads in its home state.

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