Google's Autonomous Cars Drive Significantly Safer Than Others


Only Google is testing autonomous cars on California’s roads to a notable extent. At the same time the steering wheel usage has decreased. Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, performed significantly worse.

Google has recorded significant progress in the reliability of its autonomous test cars last year. According to reports from the Californian road traffic authority DMV, the self-propelled system has been deactivated only 124 times in a million test kilometers. This was 217 cases less than in 2015, although 340,000 kilometers more were covered. The number of interventions thus decreased from an average of 0.8 to 0.2 per 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers).

Google’s car division has now been outsourced under the name Waymo. The other ten companies, who have a California test license, did not even test their cars on the public roads of the US state. In addition, they recorded more system attacks per 1,000 miles.

Many Interventions At Mercedes-Benz

The test car from Mercedes-Benz had a relatively poor record. On more than 1,000 test kilometers, there were 336 interventions. Of these, 153 were triggered automatically, while 183 times the driver intervened. This suggests that the autonomous cars tested by Mercedes in California are still not as mature as those of Google. However, there was a noticeable decline in the course of the year.

Last year, the Volkswagen Group did not make use of its test license. Audi currently has no license. BMW, on the other hand, has a fairly good record. Although the Munich Group also came only to around 1,000 test kilometers, the drivers had only to intervene once. This was due to the fact that on Highway 101 the system did not recognize the road markings.

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Tesla Tests Autonomous Driving


Bosch tested three cars on about 1,600 kilometers. There were 1,442 interventions, all of which were to be attributed to “planned technical tests”.

In addition to Google, the GM and Nissan corporations also reached notable test kilometers, but are significantly behind with about 16,000 (GM) and 6,500 (Nissan). New in the list is the electric car maker Tesla, who tested in October and November 2016 autonomous cars on California’s roads for the first time. The drivers had to intervene 182 times, on a route of about 900 kilometers.

Waymo Satisfied With Results

Waymo displayed satisfaction in a blog contribution. The new alphabet subsidiary pointed out that almost all test drives had taken place in a complex urban or urban environment. The company is also making progress in its tests on its own premises as well as in the simulation. Dmitri Dolgov, Waymos Head of Autonomous Cars, wrote that the day was closer to where self-propelled cars could be put into practice. He did not, however, give an approximate date.

The evaluation of the DMV shows however that basically only Google executes in California extensively autonomous driving tests. The rest of the companies test either primarily abroad or in other US states such as Michigan, Arizona, Nevada or Pennsylvania.

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