Companies such as Google’s Waymo are testing robot cars on Californian public roads, and reports to the Department of Motor Vehicles there show that human intervention is needed on average every 14 miles.
Robot cars, or autonomous cars, were driven on over 2 million miles of Californian roads in 2018, up from 500,000 miles in 2017.
According to Consumer Watchdog, Waymo drove the longest distance, at 1.25 million miles, and intervention was only needed every 16,500 miles on average.
It’s an improvement from 2017 when Waymo’s driverless cars drove over 350,000 miles in total and needed disengagement every 5,600 miles.
Uber, on the other hand, is last in the race, having only tested 26,900 miles in its driverless cars and needing 2.5 interventions for every mile autonomously travelled. More robot car crashes
In October 2018, Waymo was the first company to be granted a permit to test autonomous cars without a human driver in the vehicle.
But there were also more car crashes from robot cars in 2018, with 75 collisions compared to 29 in 2017.
Tesla, owned by the entrepreneur Elon Musk , did not report any testing of its autonomous cars in California, according to Consumer Watchdog. “Robot cars aren’t safe” Adam Scow, senior advocate for Consumer Watchdog said: “Besides the occasional tragedy, the public is in the dark about what’s happening in other states. It’s only because of California’s rules that the public can find out what’s happening when companies use public roads as their private laboratories.“The next step is to require that companies testing robot cars that are involved in a crash should be required to make public video and technical data about the incident.”He added: “These reports show that robot cars aren’t close to being ready for public deployment. Despite all of the hype and promises, these reports show […]