Autonomous Vehicle Permit Holders Report a Record 9 Million Test Miles in California in 12 Months

February 2, 2024

Sacramento – Companies with a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California reported their technologies drove more than 9 million miles during the latest reporting period (December 1, 2022-November 30, 2023), according to disengagement reports recently submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The annual reports summarize when vehicles disengaged from autonomous mode during tests and reveal test vehicles traveled a record 9,068,861 miles in autonomous mode on California’s public roads during the reporting period – 5,801,069 miles with a safety driver and 3,267,792 miles of driverless testing. The total is an increase of about 3.3 million miles from the previous reporting period.

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 immediate 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.

Eighteen permit holders reported they did not test autonomous vehicles on California public roads during the reporting period. The DMV is suspending one company for failing to file the annual report. Four companies, while submitting reports for the 2022-2023 reporting period, have withdrawn from the program and are no longer testing autonomous vehicles in California.

Under California’s 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 12-month details starting December 1 each year.

Currently, 38 companies have valid permits to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver, six companies have a permit for driverless testing and three manufacturers are authorized to deploy autonomous vehicles. All active testing permit holders that received authorization prior to 2023 were required to submit a disengagement report by January 1, 2024. The two companies that received a permit to test with a safety driver in 2023 will submit their first report by January 1, 2025.


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