Baidu and other autonomous driving technology developers testing vehicles on public roads in California have had to release more details as to why their cars “disengaged” from autonomous control. 

A disengagement is when the human driver testing the car has to take over from the automated system or when the system itself simply fails. The consumer rights organization Consumer Watchdog has claimed the eight reports “further confirmed that self-driving cars cannot actually drive themselves”.

After all 20 licensed companies submitted their reports to California’s Department for Motor Vehicles (DMV) for 2017, the agency published the findings in February. The reports included the amount of driving a company has done and why their systems were disengaged. Eight companies, including Baidu USA LLC and Waymo, were found to have provided too little information into why these disengagements happened. The companies have now resubmitted their reports and have provided far more detail which makes for uncomfortable reading.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...