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The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released its annualreporton the number of miles self-driving test cars owned by various companies have logged in the state. The new figures cover the year ended November 30, 2017, and also record the number of times a driver had to take control of the vehicle, known as a disengagement.
California has been a hotbed for autonomous car testing for several years, meaning the report offers a unique glimpse into how far along many companies are in their self-driving car projects.
Here are some of the highlights from the report:
- Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car spinoff, logged 352,545 miles on the state's public roads in the year, the most of any company.
- General Motors' (GM) Cruise Automation took the second spot for most miles driven, finishing the year at 131,675 miles, or 26% of the total.
- At a distant third was Drive.ai, a three-year-old autonomous software
The report largely confirms GM and Waymo are leading the race to develop self-driving cars, as BI Intelligence recently noted, but also sheds new light on the progress of several startups in the space. Both Waymo and GM are expected to have commercial ride-hailing fleets featuring their self-driving technologies in operation by the end of next year. And these figures suggest they remain on track to beat the rest of the competition to market, as their cars continue to progress technologically.
Meanwhile, the progress of Drive.ai and fellow startup Zoox, which logged 2,244 test miles and has raised $290 million, indicates that startups are making headway in the space, despite grabbingonly a small fraction of the total dollars spent on autonomous technologies. These startups could potentially be acquired by tech companies or legacy players looking to either accelerate their self-driving technology development, or integrate their technologies into later iterations of their autonomous systems.