Self-driving cars need humans less and less, California data shows

The state on Wednesday released reports showing how many miles the companies testing self-driving cars in California logged last year, and how often their engineers had to take control of the vehicles.

For some companies, such “disengagements” have become increasingly rare.

That’s particularly true of Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet. Waymo racked up 352,545 miles of autonomous driving last year on California’s public roads — far more than any of its competitors — and recorded only 63 disengagements, or one every 5,596 miles.

In 2016, Waymo’s vehicles went 5,128 miles, on average, between disengagements.

Cruise, the San Francisco startup purchased by General Motors in 2016, showed even more improvement.

The company’s self-driving Chevy Bolts drove 131,676 miles on the city’s crowded streets last year and recorded 105 disengagements, or one every 1,254

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