The California DMV today released new disengagement and mileage reports for self-driving vehicles that are being tested in the state, giving us some insight into Apple’s progression on its self-driving vehicle software.
Over the course of 2020, vehicles equipped with Apple’s self-driving technology traveled a total of 18,805 miles in California, up from the 7,544 miles traveled in 2019. There were a total of 130 disengagements, up from 64 last year, but that’s not a surprise considering the increase in mileage. Apple’s cars experienced a disengagement every 144.6 miles, which is a better metric than 2019 where there was a disengagement every 117.8 miles.
All companies that are testing self-driving vehicles in California are required to file annual disengagement reports providing details on how many times a vehicle disengages and gives control back to the safety driver, or the number of times a safety driver in the vehicle takes over.
Companies must also report total mileage covered by self-driving cars and provide details on any accidents when they occur, but Apple hasn’t had a recent accident. The last collision an Apple vehicle experienced was in 2019.
Apple has been testing its self-driving software since early 2017 using Lexus RX450h SUVs outfitted with a host of sensors and cameras as it works on Apple Car hardware. All of the vehicles are piloted by a pair of drivers at all times even when in autonomous driving mode