Tesla's Quartet Of Self-driving Cars Had 182 "disengagements" In October And November 2016

Posted: Feb 2 2017, 5:25am CST | by , in News | Cars & Vehicles

Tesla's Quartet of self-driving cars had 182 "disengagements" in October and November 2016

The report is interesting, but analysts warn it's an imperfect metric

If you follow Tesla at all, you probably know that the cars the company makes have Autopilot tech that allows the car to drive itself in certain situations. Tesla is also currently testing four self-driving cars on public roads in California. The difference here is that self-driving cars would seemingly do all the driving with the human just there for an emergency.

If you ever wondered just how often the self-driving car would give up and call for a human during testing, the number is much higher than you might expect. The Bloomberg reports that the California DMV has published a report that shows the number of disengagements, or instances where the self-driving car required a human to take over due to technical problems or to avoid an accident.

Tesla's four self-driving cars traveled a total of 550 miles combined in October and November of 2016 and reported 182 disengagements. That seems like a high number and works out to 0.33 disengagements per autonomous mile driven. Tesla does note that there were no emergencies, accidents, or collisions during those miles.

Analysts in the auto industry want people to know that these reports from the California DMV are an imperfect metric because most automakers are testing cars in other countries or states including Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada or on private tracks. We also don't know the mix of driving that Tesla's disengagements happened in. To compare BMW reported a single disengagement in 638 miles driven, but the one that did happen was on HWY 101 in dry roads and clear weather. Mercedes had 336 disengagements in 673 miles, but all the miles were on urban streets where autonomous driving is much more complex.

Ford says that it had three disengagements in 590 miles. Honda and VW reported no testing in California during the same period as Tesla. "It’s a snapshot and it’s directionally interesting, but it doesn’t tell you everything," Mike Ramsey, an analyst at Gartner, said of the disengagement reports.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.




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