A peek into Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber

Alphabet’s Waymo has dragged Uber to court for pilfering its technology that has taken thousands of hours to perfect. The statistics provided by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles made an interesting read.

The fact that Uber’s self-driving car program is a work in progress that doesn’t stack up with the progress made by its peers is common knowledge in select circles. Well, not any more.

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has published statistics that prove Alphabet’s Waymo project is leading the pack. Whereas Uber’s self-driving system disengages once every mile, Alphabet’s Waymo requires human input once every 5,128 miles. Even Nissan’s self-driving technology requires is better than Uber’s since it disengages once every 146 miles.

This post is certainly not to condemn Uber’s efforts, it is instead meant to point to the significant gap between the two competing technologies.

Uber’s has accumulated a little over 20,000 miles of autonomous driving before its program was temporarily thrown out of California, Waymo’s on the other hand has accumulated an astounding 635,000 miles in 2016 alone.

In comparison Nissan’s rate of disengagement improved after 4,099 miles.

Essentially, these figures helps provide context behind Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber. As per Waymo’s allegation Uber was trying to play catch up by stealing the technology that has taken Waymo thousands of hours to perfect.

While it is for the court to decide whether it sees the light in Alphabet’s lawsuit, the stats meanwhile are pretty clear by themselves: Uber has miles to go before it can dream of catching up and running an entire fleet of driverless cars.


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