Google’s self-driving car, Waymo, is said to have dramatically improved its performance during the past year, it has been reported.
According to the Annual Autonomous Vehicle Disengagement Report, a detailed assessment of the performance of self-driving cars by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Google’s self-driving car, which is made by a subsidiary called Waymo, recorded an impressive drop in the number of times that a human driver had to regain control of the vehicle.
The report states that the number of times in which a human driver had to regain control of the Google car reduced from 0.8 per 1,000 miles to during 2015 to 0.2 per 1,000 miles in 2016.
The dramatic reduction in the number of times that a human driver had to help the vehicle corresponded to a big leap in the distance that the Google car travelled during 2016.
The report indicates that in 2016, the Google car covered a total distance of 635,868, which is almost double the distance that the car covered back in 2015.
The report, therefore, concludes that the performance of the Google car has improved tremendously for the past one year.
While reacting to the findings, the executives at Waymo were all praises to the team that is constantly working to improve the performance of the car.
According to Dmitri Dolgov, who heads the team working on the self-driving technology at the firm, the firms has invested a lot of resources on monitoring the performance of the technology in real-life situations and continuously making the necessary changes.
‘We have focused our efforts on trying to make cars that can navigate you from door to door safely and that is why we take a lot of time to improve the manner in which our cars perform,’ he further added.
It is interesting to note that a large percentage of the causes of disengagement in the Waymo were as a result of factors such as failure of the technology and abnormal activities on the road. The report points out that abnormal behaviour by other road users is a factor that has a significant impact on the number of disengagements.
Observers have pointed out that other makers of self-driving cars still have a long way to go in attempting to make their cars safe and intelligent enough to be used as an everyday means of transport.