Tesla Is Testing Self Driving Cars on California Roads – Bloomberg (Feb 1, 2017)
The headline is news, I guess, but far more interesting are the detailed reports each company testing autonomous vehicles in California has submitted for 2016. These reports lay out – in some cases in quite a bit of detail – the results of testing during the year, including the miles driven and the number of disengagements. This is a great counterpoint to the article last year which suggested Tesla had an edge over others in autonomous driving because its cars had driven many more miles – the reality is that Tesla’s truly autonomous cars drove just 550 miles on California roads, while Google/Waymo’s drove 636,000, or over a thousand times as many miles. What’s more, Waymo’s vehicles required just 0.2 driver interventions per thousand miles relative to Tesla’s 0.33 per mile. It’s also notable that the vast majority of Tesla’s disengagements were on wet roads – road conditions continue to be a major factor in the ability of many autonomous driving systems to function correctly, which obviously puts them a very long way from mass production and release to customers. I’m planning to dig into all these numbers some more.
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