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How Google And Other Self Driving Cars Performed In 2015

Update Date: Jan 14, 2016 01:22 PM EST
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A new report from a California regulator shows autonomous cars may still have a long way to go before becoming acceptable.

The report detailed the number of instances when humans had to take control of the cars when a problem, including a crash, was possible. The numbers are based on revelations made by seven companies to the California Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV. Intervention by humans has been termed 'disengagement'.

According to BBC, Google reported 341 disengagements in the 15 months it has been testing its cars on California's roads. Of these, 13 instances carried the risk of the car crash. Tesla reported no disengagements. A total of 2,000 instances of disengagements were reported by all companies.

The reports sparked of a debate regarding safety of autonomous cars. While many said safety of such cars was a concern, their critics argued that cars need be only safer than humans. Those levels of safety have already been attained, they claimed.

Gizmodo reported Google saying disengagements are part of the testing process and help improve its software.

"Our objective is not to minimize disengagements; rather, it is to gather, while operating safely, as much data as possible to enable us to improve our self-driving system. Therefore, we set disengagement thresholds conservatively, and each is carefully recorded," the company reportedly said.

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