Analysis of autopilot disengagements occurring during autonomous vehicle testing

Chen Lv, Dongpu Cao, Yifan Zhao, Daniel J. Auger, Mark Sullman, Huaji Wang, Laura Millen Dutka, Lee Skrypchuk, Alexandros Mouzakitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


In present-day highly-automated vehicles, there are occasions when the driving system disengages and the human driver is required to take-over. This is of great importance to a vehicle's safety and ride comfort. In the U.S state of California, the Autonomous Vehicle Testing Regulations require every manufacturer testing autonomous vehicles on public roads to submit an annual report summarizing the disengagements of the technology experienced during testing. On 1 January 2016, seven manufacturers submitted their first disengagement reports: Bosch, Delphi, Google, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Tesla Motors. This work analyses the data from these disengagement reports with the aim of gaining abetter understanding of the situations in which a driver is required to takeover, as this is potentially useful in improving the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 2 and Level 3 automation technologies. Disengagement events from testing are classified into different groups based on attributes and the causes of disengagement are investigated and compared in detail. The mechanisms and time taken for take-over transition occurred in disengagements are studied. Finally, recommendations for OEMs, manufacturers, and government organizations are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8232590
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Automated vehicle
  • Disengagement
  • humanvehicle interactions
  • take-over operation
  • vehicle testing


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