Changes In Disengagements Over The Years

This year’s Disengagement Report, which companies with a California test license for autonomous vehicles have to report at the beginning of the year, showed the gap between companies such as Waymo, GM Cruise, or Zoox in regards to developing autonomous vehicles to other vendors. In total there are five companies that have disengagement rates above 1,000 miles. Traditional car makers such as Mercedes Benz or Bosch are so far behind with rates of ever one or two miles per disengagement, that the logical conclusion should be that those companies start collaboration with the Top 5.

A detailed analysis over the years shows the improvements since 2015 when the first disengagement report became mandatory. Waymo (at this time still Google) improved by a factor with of 10. From 1,244.37 miles per disengagement to today’s 11,154.30. GM Cruise even achieved an improvement of 100x since 2016 with 54.01 miles per disengagement to 5,204.90 in 2018.

But there are exceptions. Telenav, Mercedes Benz, Bosch, and Delphi/Aptiv either worsened their disengagement rates or had some ups and downs.

Miles per Disengagement
2015 201620172018
Waymo     1,244.37     5,127.97     5,595.95   11,154.30
GM Cruise          54.01     1,254.06     5,204.90

       282.96     1,922.80
Nissan          14.01        141.34        208.63        210.50
         41.60        205.60
         43.59        83.00

           4.63          20.10
Telenav          32.00            6.00
Mercedes Benz            2.17            2.00            1.29            1.50
Delphi/Aptiv          41.14          17.57          22.35
Bosch            1.50            0.68            2.41

While Waymo dominated in the past years the miles driven with over 97%, 2018 seems to have been a turning point. Of the 2,036,296 overall miles driven, “only” 62% were by Waymo, and GM Cruise increased its share top 22%. Note: almost all those miles were accumulated in city driving.

For 2019 we certainly can expect an increased number of vehicles an miles driven, and probably also improvements. Mercedes Benz for instance has announced to start testing a first fleet with passengers in San Jose in the second half of 2019.

We have take those figures with a grain of salt. Those numbers – while mandatory – are self-reported, which do not reveal much about on what roads and under what conditions the miles were driven. There are no standards about data recording and also no independent ways to check the numbers.

This article was also published in German.


  1. Mario, thanks for the charts, but is there some reason your site is configured to display everything in super-large type? It makes it hard to read, I find.


    1. No, it must be your browser. You probably increased the font size in your browser. Has nothing to do with my site.


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