AV Permit Holders Report Nearly 2.9 Million Test Miles in California

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February 26, 2020

Sacramento –Companies with a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California with a safety driver reported their technologies drove nearly 2.9 million miles during the most recent reporting period, according to disengagement reports recently submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The 60 annual reports submitted to the DMV summarize the disengagements reported during testing and reveal test vehicles traveled approximately 2.88 million miles in autonomous mode on California’s public roads during the reporting period – an increase of more than 800,000 miles from the previous reporting cycle.

The reports include the total number of disengagements, the circumstances or testing conditions, the location, and the total miles traveled in autonomous mode on public roads for each permit holder. Disengagements can occur when a failure of the technology is detected or when the safety driver needs to take control of the vehicle. The reports provide insights on a company’s testing activities in California but are not intended to compare one company with another or reach broad conclusions on technological capabilities.

Twenty-four permit holders reported they did not test autonomous vehicles on California public roads. Two companies failed to file the annual report and were subject to permit revocation following a 15-day written notice from the DMV. Effective today, the DMV has revoked their testing permits.

Under California’s current regulations, companies are not required to report testing on private roads/test tracks, testing that occurs out of state, testing below SAE Level 3 or testing done in simulation. The regulations require submitting an annual report to the DMV every January 1. The first report a company provides covers the period from when the permit was issued to November 30 of the following year. Subsequent reports provide details from December 1 to November 30 of each year.

Currently, 64 companies have valid permits to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver on California public roadways. One company has a permit for driverless testing. All active permit holders that received authorization prior to 2019 were required to submit a disengagement report by January 1, 2020. Six companies that received a permit in 2019 will submit their first report by January 1, 2021.