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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.

applelexusselfdriving1.jpg

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

Article Link: Apple Self-Driving Test Vehicles Doubled Mileage in 2020
 
Last edited:

erthquake

macrumors regular
Oct 11, 2011
175
152
If someone is sitting behind the wheel monitoring in an Apple car currently, they're not fully autonomous driving either. I believe that's level 2 as well.
Tesla's system requires driver interaction via the steering wheel every 30s to a minute and half or so, depending on conditions. If a Tesla driver using Autopilot doesn't keep torquing the steering wheel or use the scroll buttons on the wheel, Autopilot will disengage.

Apple's system only requires the "driver" to interact with the car when it disengages, or the driver sees the need to avoid danger to the car or outside environment.
 
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Freida

macrumors 68040
Oct 22, 2010
3,611
5,022
Thats a laughable amount compared to Tesla. Apple has a very very very long way before they catch up (if they ever will).
Currently nothing is even close to Tesla so how is Apple planning this will be interesting to watch. Either way, I wouldn't be buying first version of Apple car. :)
 

erthquake

macrumors regular
Oct 11, 2011
175
152
So they want to build a car without a steering wheel but their current technology needs help every 144 miles?
144 miles isn't all that bad when you consider most, if not all, of those miles are urban driving, not highway. And neural networks can't learn unless they're making mistakes.

One could argue that "better" disengagement stats mean they're not pushing the technology hard enough.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,479
3,958
144 miles isn't all that bad when you consider most, if not all, of those miles are urban driving, not highway. And neural networks can't learn unless they're making mistakes.

One could argue that "better" disengagement stats mean they're not pushing the technology hard enough.
I would have expected to see a 10x-100x improvement in 1 year if they are serious about building such a car.
 

SD449

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2012
168
256
Can’t believe how many miles some of these companies have racked up with very very few disengagement’s

Pony.ai, Waymo (Google) and Cruise LLT (GM) over 1.5m miles and less than 75 disengagement’s.

I am VERY excited about the possibility of an Apple car and would buy a Tesla in a heartbeat but the competitors numbers are unreal, unless I’m missing somthing
 

LuckyBubba

macrumors member
Jun 2, 2015
78
73
I'll hang on to my horse; still not confident about how these cars will stack up against driver's who want to prevent these cars from changing lanes.
On another note, I'm so excited about owning an apple car one day. Knowing apple, the outside will look okay, but it's the inside that people will enjoy most; an amazing sounds system with great seating is what comes to mind. Hope apple keeps the cost right and skips fancy exterior stying and puts more effort into the interior where the driver and passengers will enjoy most.
 

NMBob

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2007
1,597
1,761
New Mexico
What would happen if a bird dropping landed on one of those cameras?
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'll think about getting an Apple car when their engineers figure out that keyboard backlighting doesn't need to get brighter as the amount of light in the room increases.
 
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erthquake

macrumors regular
Oct 11, 2011
175
152
Can’t believe how many miles some of these companies have racked up with very very few disengagement’s

Pony.ai, Waymo (Google) and Cruise LLT (GM) over 1.5m miles and less than 75 disengagement’s.

I am VERY excited about the possibility of an Apple car and would buy a Tesla in a heartbeat but the competitors numbers are unreal, unless I’m missing somthing
The question you have to ask is, how carefully controlled are the environments in which these cars achieve such low disengagement numbers? If they're running the same route over and over again, you'd expect incrementally better disengagement numbers, but overall their tech is improving at a very slow rate.

In contrast, Tesla owners in the self-driving beta program drive everywhere with no restrictions. So Tesla AI experiences a much wider array of edge cases.

Who will be the better baseball player: one that practices hitting only fastballs, or one that practices against curveballs, sliders, knuckleballs, changeups, and screwballs? The one hitting only fastballs will have few swings and misses, but a much lower success rate when they play in a real baseball game.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
5,700
16,004
Temecula, CA
that does not seem a whole lot, would be good to see the numbers from Waymo, Tesla and such in comparison ...
I sure would like to see millions of mile logged before an autonomous vehicle gets approval ...
 

IIGS User

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2019
757
1,959
I wouldn't want to drive that thing though a car wash.

Keeping the sensors and leading edge of the optics clean is going to be a serious issue.

Can you imagine driving something that down the beach and looking at the sensor array.

Dead bugs are going to be an issue...
 

clive27

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2014
108
223
Los Angeles, CA
"Disengagement" every 144 miles = death or severe injuries every 144 miles for those pretending the vehicle has autopilot as they're playing with their iPhone in their lap.

There's nothing Self Driving about these cars except the name.
Not every disengagement leads to death or injuries. Most of these are probably either 1. computers asking operators to take over because it's not quite sure. 2. operators feel uncomfortable with the computers' behavior and decide to take over. They don't necessarily mean death. In real life, the autonomous car would just stop (maybe emergency brake) and ask the driver (or remote operator) to handle the situation.
 

farewelwilliams

Suspended
Jun 18, 2014
4,966
18,037
Tesla's system requires driver interaction via the steering wheel every 30s to a minute and half or so, depending on conditions. If a Tesla driver using Autopilot doesn't keep torquing the steering wheel or use the scroll buttons on the wheel, Autopilot will disengage.

Apple's system only requires the "driver" to interact with the car when it disengages, or the driver sees the need to avoid danger to the car or outside environment.

If Apple requires driver to monitor with their eyes, that's level 2.
 
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