Reports Show Shortcomings of Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars were expected to provide solutions to some of the country's biggest traffic issues and provide innovation. The California DMV's latest reports show otherwise.

Even though self-driving cars and the technology behind them seem to be riding solo along their own roads, that's not entirely true. It's easy to cook up the idea that autonomous cars are in their own Wild West when it comes to the auto world, but in reality the companies behind self-driving cars have to produce annual reports to the DMV. And the latest reports out of California of self-driven vehicles are anything but rosy.


Don't get us wrong—self-driving cars are still super interesting, but with all the news coming out left and right related to Teslas crashing into walls or Uber Volvo's involved in fatalities of pedestrians, it's probably a good thing to take a long hard look at the status of the cars.

Try, Try Again

According to Mercury News, the California DMV (who doesn't love the DMV?) requires all companies testing autonomous vehicles on the state's public roads to provide reports about disengagements, which are the times when a human backup driver has to take over for the self-driving system. Turns out that eight companies in total who have testing permits needed to provide clarification about their reports to the DMV.

A number of issues have been reported about the technology from different companies. From the way the car senses movement around them to how they maneuver on the road, self-driving cars still have a long way to go. What's more, there still are a number of tweaks to workout when it comes to hardware and software failures.

Big Companies, Big Problems

One Chinese-based internet search company, Baidu, reported  a time that a driver had to take over the wheel because of faulty steering maneuvers. On top of that they had to provide further information in regards to delayed braking and drifting out of lanes. These reports of disengagement are identifying problems that's some self-driving cars struggle with including pedestrian traffic like when the Uber self-driving car struck a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

And it's not just small tech companies that are reporting instances of glitches. Nissan, for example, which is testing its own autonomous cars, reported a software crash, possibly messing up its system's GPS accuracy. Even Google autonomous project company Waymo reported that one of its vehicles failed to see a no right on red signal and went ahead and turned right.

It's easy to see and understand that self-driving cars need to continue testing, but pushing these babies out on the road for sale might have to wait a little bit longer.

NEXT: Waymo to Test Autonomous Cars on the Streets of Atlanta