Google's self-driving car is streets ahead of its nearest competitors when it comes to disengagements, but GM is improving rapidly.
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Google's self-driving cars, operating under the Waymo name, required human intervention just once every 11,154mi (17,950km) in 2018, comfortably making it the industry leader for disengagements.

Waymo vehicles drove a whopping 1.2 million miles (1.93 million kilometres) in California last year, equating to a "50 per cent reduction in the rate of disengagements and a 96 per cent increase in the average miles travelled between disengagements" compared to 2017.

Data released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have revealed Waymo comfortably leads the pack on self-driving smarts, with General Motors's Cruise in second place on 5204mi (8375km) between disengagements. That's three times better than its figures for 2017, showing just how fast it's improving.

Chinese companies lagged behind the two leading Americans, with Zoox, Nuro and Pony all rounding out the top five on 2000mi (3219km), 1028mi (1654km) and 1022mi (1645km) between disengagements respectively.

Apple, on the other hand, had a driver take control once every, drumroll please, 1.1mi (1.8km). Tesla, meanwhile, says it "did not test any vehicles on public roads in California in autonomous mode or operate any autonomous vehicles, as defined by California law".

Instead, the company touted its Autopilot as a way to test autonomous technology in "shadow-mode" during normal operation.

It's worth bearing in mind, the data doesn't account for the conditions in which manufacturers are testing. If one brand is working in a busy, complex environment and another is cruising around empty boulevards, it's safe to assume which will have more human interventions.

Although it's advancing apace with autonomous tech, not everyone is on board with Waymo's self-driving program. According to the company, its vehicles have been attacked more than 20 times in Arizona, with incidents ranging from waving a hand gun at a passing car, being run off the road, having tyres slashed and verbal abuse.