Google’s driverless cars still need a human at the wheel
14 January 2016 | 0
“These events are rare and our engineers carefully study these simulated contacts and refine the software to ensure the self-driving car performs safely,” the report noted. “The rate of these simulated contact disengagements is declining even as autonomous miles driven increase. Because the simulated contact events are so few in number, they do not lend themselves well to trend analysis, but, we are generally driving more autonomous miles between these events.”
The company reported that at the end of November, Google had operated its autonomous cars for more than 1.3 million miles. Of that total, 424,331 were driven on public roads in California and the majority of them were in a suburban environment in and around Mountain View,where Google is headquartered.
Google also said that its fleet of driverless cars are averaging 30,000 to 40,000 miles per month.
The company also pointed out that operating the autonomous cars in an urban environment, instead of just on highways, means navigating in more complex road systems and intersections, and around cyclists and pedestrians.
“This differs from the driving undertaken by an average American driver who will spend a larger proportion of their driving miles on less complex roads such as freeways,” Google stated. “Not surprisingly, 89% of our reportable disengagements have occurred in this complex street environment.”
IDG News Service