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Apple More Than Doubled Road Testing of Self-Driving Cars in 2020

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According to a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Apple more than doubled road testing of its self-driving cars in 2020, driving 18,805 miles last year, up from 7,544 miles in 2019 (via Bloomberg).

Apple hq

Apple’s report shows 130 disengagements in 2020, which is the number of times a human driver had to take over, up from 64. That resulted in a disengagement every 145 miles, compared with every 118 miles in 2019, suggesting the company’s self-driving technology has improved.

As compared to 2018, however, the test miles in 2020 lag the almost 80,000 miles Apple did that year. The company had reported a disengagement about every mile in 2018.

While Apple’s numbers did show an improvement, they still lag significantly behind the competition, making it clear Apple isn’t close to launching a self-driving car.

General Motors Co. doubled how far its cars can go before a safety driver needs to take over. The company reported 27 disengagements during 770,000 miles in California.

Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo LLC said its fleet drove 628,839 miles during 2020, less than half of what it reported for 2019. The company said it had 21 disengagements, or about one for almost every 30,000 miles.

Kyle Vogt, President and Chief Technology Officer of General Motors’ autonomous-vehicle startup Cruise, said on Twitter they had zero disengagements in the last three months of 2020 in about 200,000 miles of testing.

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