The Department of Motor Vehicles, the US regulator of driving, has unveiled statistics on ongoing autonomous car experiments. These statistics, shared by the site The Last Driver License Holder, relate to deactivations ("Disengagement") automatic self-driving to give back to the driver for any reason.

It appears that for the period from December 2017 to November 2018, Apple cars are the ones that give the most steering wheel to the operator. There are 545 disengagements per 1,000 kilometers, or about one every 1.8 km.

The company with the best statistics is Waymo, Google's initiative which has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet, which has 0.06 deactivations per 1,000 km, or a disengagement every 17,846 km.

Apple standalone car (Lexus RX450h equipped with radar and roof sensors)

In other words, the operators aboard the autonomous vehicles of Apple must take much, much more often the control of the vehicle than those installed in Waymo cars.

Several disparate factors can explain these diametrically opposed statistics, starting with the baggage of Waymo in the field, which began testing in the early 2010s, when Apple started in 2017.

The fleet of Apple has about sixty cars currently. Tim Cook confirmed in 2017 that an autonomous driving system was in development, without specifying what it was intended for. From a fully autonomous car, the Titan project would have finally reduced the wing to focus on an autonomous shuttle for internal use.

Update – In a letter sent last December to the DMV, Miguel Acosta, head of autonomous vehicles at Apple explains that the manufacturer's approach to disengagement maneuvers is " conservative "The driving system was not designed to" operate in all conditions and situations ". Apple's priority is safety first and foremost, he recalls as well.

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