Google is 5,000 Times Better than Uber at Autonomous Driving

Uber and Google

The driving statistics that was published by California states that Uber is the worst self-driving car company of the six that were tested.

The testing of the self-driving cars has shown that the number of disengagements – where the system forces the driver/passenger to take manual control – was one per every mile, and these results were so bad that Uber was banned from testing after only 20,354 miles. On the other hand, the best company was the one called Waymo. It is one of Google’s sibling companies, and it’s had only one disengagement per 5,128 miles. It also made more than 500,000 miles in the last year, and with statistics like that, it’s officially over 5,000 times better than Uber.

These results are expected to help Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber that occurred after Uber acquired Otto, another self-driving company that was founded by a former Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski. This lead to Waymo accusing Uber of stealing intellectual property.

The technology that Uber was accused of stealing includes the design of the so-called lidar array, which is the light-based system that’s posted on top of the vehicle and helps the self-driving cars “see” the world around them.

One of Edison Investment Research’s analysts, Richard Windsor, has stated that Google is 5,000 times better than Uber, and even though they’re suing Uber, the theft of the lidar design doesn’t appear to have helped Uber at getting the upper hand on autonomous driving at all.

Between these two companies is Nissan. Their model has had one disengagement per 146 miles, and their number of miles driven was 4,099. The other companies’ three companies are Tesla, Mercedes, and BMW, and even though none of those was as bad as Uber, none of them has filed more than 1,000 miles of testing in the last year.

“The best measure of an autonomous driving solution is how often the driver has to take over to correct shortcomings in the autonomous driving software. Regulations in California require those that test in the state to submit this data but typically, they all submit it in different ways. There are also different types of disengagement such as when the car is going to hit something (critical) or when the safety driver feels uncomfortable (ordinary). Furthermore, companies test their cars in different conditions, meaning the data can really only be used as an indication,” said Windsor.

He added that the difference between the companies are so big that we can clearly see where they’re standing when it comes to perfecting this technology.