A slightly different analysis of the California DMV 2019 Autonomous Vehicle Disengagement Reports that looks deeper into the narrative of where and why disengagements were encountered in 8,885 cases over 2.9m miles covered by 652 vehicles operated by 28 companies. One finds for instance that companies describe potentially similar cases in different terms and varying level of detail. And also, companies focus on different locations for testing, such as some report mostly disengagements on highways and others more on city streets. All this shows that the disengagement reports must not be used as a competitive analysis, let alone “ranking”, of companies. But the reports might serve as an indication how far the industry of autonomous driving has come as a whole, with challenges still in negotiating situations with humans, especially in what is called by some companies “aggressive” or “reckless” behavior. And also, the analysis of a vast number of disengagements shows that quite often the “planner” seems to have problems, which might be an indication that stand-alone planning might not be the only way toward automated vehicles in public and a more collaborative approach might be in order.

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