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2016-01-13 12:00

CARS OF THE FUTURE? Californian highway authorities ruled that companies currently testing autonomous cars in the Sunshine State still need human intervention. Image: AP

Los Angeles - Futuristic self-driving cars, being tested on California roads, need plenty of old-fashioned human intervention to stay safe.

On Tuesday (Jan 12 2016), California's Department of Motor Vehicles released reports filed by seven companies that received permission to test prototype vehicles starting in September 2014.

The reports show varying levels of progress.

Not ready for the public

Experts say that Google, whose cars drove the most by far, performed relatively well. The company said its cars needed safety-related help 341 times over 682 361km. Google said 11 of those instances would have resulted in collisions, and that its cars are not yet ready for the public.

Read: Google's self-driving car for public roads

Nissan tested 2389km in public but reported 106 cases where the driver had to take control.

A spokeswoman for Nissan did not immediately return a request for comment.


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