According to a report compiled by Allianz Global Assistance, only 52 percent of Americans say they’re confident that autonomous driving technology will develop safely enough to consider trading their conventional vehicles for self-driving ones. General Motors has reportedly put on hold plans to begin testing autonomous vehicles in New York City because Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed concerns about the technology’s safety.
In fact, the path to a future that’s populated with driverless cars is not without roadblocks. Among companies currently testing autonomous vehicles in California, GM’s Cruise division and Google’s Waymo initiative lead all comers in terms of being involved in crashes. That’s from an analysis of data culled from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles conducted by the tech news and reviews website Tech.co.
Waymo cars have thus far been involved in 32 California incidents reported to the DMV, all in the Mountain View area. That represents 41% of the company’s autonomous trial fleet. Self-driving cars seem to have particular problems navigating the six-lane El Camino Real that bisects Mountain View, with nine crashes reported on or merging onto the freeway. Waymo cars were also reported getting into accidents in Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale.
Driving in San Francisco can be challenging enough for human motorists, but it’s apparently more confounding for those with artificial intelligence. Of 61 autonomous accidents reported to the DMV within the city, Cruise cars accounted for 52 of them. That’s the highest number among any automaker testing in California, and it accounts for 30% of GM’s self-driving fleet.
Rounding out the list of automakers testing in California, Zoox filed five accident reports with the DMV, with Apple at two, and Toyota and Drive.ai accounting for one collision each.
It should be noted that companies testing in California are required by law to file a report anytime there is vehicle contact with other property or people regardless of whether the test vehicle was at fault and regardless of whether the autonomous driving function was engaged.