Even though the technology behind autonomous vehicles has progressed hugely in recent years, it's still by no means perfect. A long list of companies are still testing their electric vehicles in California to improve software capabilities and safety. Disengagements are a key part of the testing process and they occur when a car's software detects a failure or a driver perceives a failure, resulting in control being seized.
According to data from the California DMV published by website The Last License Holder, 29 companies reported that they were actively testing self-driving cars on public roads in the state. In total, they covered 1,955,208 miles in automomous mode with 3,695 disengagements occurring. When it comes to flawless autonomy, Google's Waymo is way ahead of the pack with its fleet covering 630,000 miles last year with 29,425 miles per disengagement.
That performance represents a significant improvement by Waymo on last year's 13,219 miles per disengagement. It's results in 2020 are also much better than many companies attempting to perfect the technology, especially heavyweight competitors such as Apple. Last year, Apple's vehicles drove 18,805 test miles with just144.6 miles covered per disengagement by comparison.