News: Uber's Autonomous Cars Require Driver Intervention Every Mile

Uber's Autonomous Cars Require Driver Intervention Every Mile

Leaked documents from Uber, obtained by Re/code, detail the ride-hailing app's latest wins and failures in their self-driving experiment. The reports detail the number of autonomous miles traveled, the number of driver interventions needed, and the number of times the drivers had to avoid serious damage.

The numbers contained within might explain Uber's reluctance to share with the public: In short, their program isn't look so hot.

The good: During the past week, Uber's driverless cars managed to cover 20,300 miles, which is over 15,000 more than they were averaging at the start of 2017.

The bad? During those miles, the driver had to take control of the car once every 0.8 miles, mainly because of "bad experiences, like jerky control." Further bad news includes the fact that the number of times driver intervention occurred to avoid a "harmful event" such as "hitting pedestrians or causing property damage," went up to 196 from the previous week's 115.

Uber has driverless cars on the road in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and California, with semi-autonomous cars being tested in the former two. Despite this, Uber has still not caught up to Waymo's 1.5 million autonomous miles driven. With the lawsuit against Uber's head of the self-driving division still under way, Uber may never make up the distance.

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Cover image via Dllu/Wikimedia Commons

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