On February 1, 2017, Waymo introduced its 2016 report on the company’s self-driving car testing. According to the statistics, the company managed to improve its driverless figures and announced only 0.2 cases of human driving per 1,000 miles compared to the 0.8 disengagement rate of 2015. Here the company specialists talk about those cases when certain problems in autonomous driving led to the replacement of the robot mechanism by a human tester who was in a passenger seat during the tests.
Moreover, Google-owned driverless vehicles demonstrated the figures of tested mileage which rose by almost 50% – 635,868 miles against 424,331 in 2015.
These figures prove that in 2016 the company managed to make their autonomous vehicles more improved, although it is still a long way to go towards a completely driverless technology.
Waymo abandons the idea to publish accident stats
Introduction of a new Google’s name in the self-driving car industry – Waymo – was accompanied by some other changes of the company’s practice in managing its website devoted to autonomous vehicles.
People interested in this technology noticed that the Waymo website doesn’t have any information on accident reports anymore. But as the company’s spokesperson reassured, Waymo is still publishing detailed disengage reports.
Another interesting thing is that most of small accidents documented in the reports happened when Waymo driverless vehicles were actually driven manually. However, there were some incidents that proved the self-driving technology still needs to be improved. For example, one of such accidents happened with a public bus, when Waymo’s autonomous car made a mistake predicting the former would slow down its speed, but it didn’t actually happen.
These detailed reports were also interesting for the fact they contained some information on how the technology managed to scan and visualize the surroundings. November 2016 turned out to be the first month when Waymo autonomous vehicles showed zero accidents. Today, as the company states, it doesn’t have any requirements to announce the results of monthly tests. However, if any accident happens with a tested driverless car, all the details will be immediately published at Waymo website. Thus, no accident has happened since October 2016, as we can see considering the website information.