General Motors’ self-driving unit Cruise said its test vehicles experienced a rapid rate of improvement in the second half of 2019, enabling it to edge past Google affiliate Waymo in data reported to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
Data released last week by California showed Waymo and Cruise had the greatest number of test miles between “disengagements,” when a human driver must intervene to take control from a self-driving system during testing on public roads.
The disengagement data is widely used as a yardstick to compare companies testing self-driving vehicles on California roads, and is often cited as evidence that Waymo leads the sector.
Both companies last week criticized the disengagement data. Waymo tweeted that the disengagement metric “does not provide relevant insights” nor does it distinguish Waymo’s “performance from others in the self-driving space.”
While the annual data showed that Waymo had the greatest average number of miles between disengagements…