A report released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that cars being tested by Google’s Waymo division are improving.
Consisting of data collected from all companies evaluating autonomous vehicles on California roads, the report includes details of “disengagements” where human drivers have been forced to manually take control of a test vehicle.
Despite doubling its on-road testing to 635,668 miles in 2016, Waymo says that it registered only 124 disengagements, down from 341 incidents in 2015.
Dmitri Dolgov, Head of Self Driving Technology at Waymo, attributes the improvement to advancements in hardware and software. Dolgov notes that by testing in real-world, door to door scenarios that it has been able to gain experience dealing with a number of challenges, including sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists and practicing advanced maneuvers such as making unprotected left turns and traversing multi-lane intersections.
The company says that it was able to conduct its testing throughout 2016 without any reports of collisions or accidents.
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