PALO ALTO, Calif. — In the realm of self-driving vehicles, the number of miles driven in autonomous mode is often used as a proxy for progress.
So it might seem alarming next month when an annual batch of mileage statistics scheduled to be released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows Aurora Innovation drove significantly fewer miles in 2019 than in the previous year, when it logged 32,844 on California public roads. But that's by design.
"We're going to drive about half as many miles this year," said Sterling Anderson, co-founder of the company, during a debriefing with reporters here this month.
For Aurora, that constitutes progress. Unlike others, the company wants to limit the number of miles driven on public roads and instead emphasize testing in simulated environments.