Consumer Watchdog based its statements on new reports that are required by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles for companies that test its autonomous vehicles on the state’s public roads. The so-called disengagement reports show how many times a human driver needed to take control of the car during its testing on the public roads. While companies such as Waymo and GM’s Cruise division were able to drive thousands of miles before intervention was needed, companies like Mercedes-Benz and Uber “needed human intervention at least once per every mile driven,” the group said.
“Despite all of the hype and promises, these reports show that robot cars aren’t safe without human drivers ready to take over,” said Adam Scow, a senior advocate for Consumer Watchdog. “While some companies are gradually improving, others are crawling out of the gates. Much more testing and improvement is needed before regulators can consider approving driverless cars for our roads.”