Alphabet’s self-driving car company — now named Waymo — has shared its results after another year on the road, and it’s looking like the Google-powered autonomous driving check is literal miles ahead of the competition.

An autonomous vehicle disengagement report from Waymo sent to the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows the tech giant’s self-driving cars have a significantly lower rate of driver intervention compared to other car companies.

Specifically, the report mentions that Waymo’s vehicles clocked an impressive 635,868 cumulative miles of drive time over the past year, but only experienced 124 reported disengagements — instances where a driver was forced to take over.

Another way of looking at it is that for every 5,128 miles Waymo’s self-driving cars drove, a human being only had to step in once. This is even better compared to 2015, as Waymo’s disengagement rate dropped by a whopping 75% from 0.8 disengagements per 1,000 miles, to just 0.2.

Self-driven performance

While the numbers don’t seem that impressive on their own, the rate stands out like a sore thumb when compared to other companies currently honing its self-driving game in the same area. 

BMW, for example, reported just one disengagement in 2016, but only with 638 miles of autonomous driving under its belt. Meanwhile, Nissan reported 28 disengagements over 4,099 autonomous miles (about one disengagement per 146 miles) driven last year. 

Another comparison of Waymo’s progress is a little more embarrassing. Uber, another entrant in the autonomous driving ring, is reported by The Guardian as having a disastrous disengagement rate of one per mile — effectively 5,128 times worse than Waymo’s record.

While Uber’s disengagement rate is comparatively poor, the company did reportedly put in 20,354 miles’ worth of experience last year — more than major manufacturers like Mercedes, Ford, Nissan, BMW, and Honda combined. 

(Honda, for example, appears it did not do any testing on public roads in California this year.)

That said, Uber may want to take a note from Waymo to keep its disengagement down for the sake of everyone else on the road — just not literally, as the ridesharing service is already undergoing a lawsuit for allegedly stealing aspects Waymo’s self-driving tech.


Source: techradar – Gadgets
The most reliable self-driving cars belong to – surprise – Alphabet’s Waymo