Alphabet’s Waymo and General Motor’s Cruise are leading a backlash against a California reporting requirement on self-driving car test records that the companies state is not related or accurate in measuring performance or progress.
Records released Wednesday by California confirmed Waymo and Cruise once again had the greatest number of test miles between “disengagements,” when a human driver should intervene to take control from a self-driving software while testing on public roads.
The disengagement data is extensively used as a yardstick to compare firms testing self-driving automobiles on California roads and is commonly cited as evidence that Waymo leads the sector.
At an investor conference Wednesday, Dan Ammann, CEO of GM’s Cruise unit, sidestepped a question concerning the relevance of the California disengagement records, saying “there is not a single great method to monitor” the group’s progress, other than its own inner data.
Data provided to California confirmed Waymo had 13,219 miles between disengagements, compared with 11,017 miles two years ago. Cruise reported an even greater improvement, with 12,221 miles between disengagements last year, in contrast with 5,205 miles in 2018.
Waymo said its self-driving test automobiles logged 1.45 million miles on California roads in 2019, while Cruise automobiles tallied 831,000 miles, most of them on the streets of San Francisco.
The bigger self-driving firms want to incorporate more and different records when measuring efficiency and progress, along with miles logged in computer simulations.