Tesla began publishing its quarterly Autopilot Safety Reports after a year-long hiatus. The automaker is calling for some improvements.
Since 2018, Tesla has been trying to set a benchmark for its improved Autopilot safety by releasing a quarterly report that compares the number of miles per accident on Autopilot versus off Autopilot.
The data has always been limited and criticized for not taking into account that crashes are more common on urban roads and undivided roads than on motorways, where Autopilot is primarily used.
However, it was always useful to compare it to itself over time and see if there were improvements, and sometimes there were incremental improvements.
Tesla suddenly stopped publishing these quarterly reports in 2022 without any explanation.
Now the automaker has decided to restart it and has released reports for all quarters up to the third quarter of 2022.
Tesla wrote for the most recent data:
In the 3rd quarter, we recorded one accident for every 10.26 million kilometers traveled during which the drivers used Autopilot technology. For drivers who did not use Autopilot technology, we recorded one accident for every 1.71 million kilometers driven. By comparison, the most recent data available from NHTSA and FHWA (from 2021) shows that in the United States there was a car accident approximately every 652,000 miles.
That’s compared to one crash for every 4.35 million miles driven with Autopilot technology in the fourth quarter of 2021 – the last time Tesla regularly released the data.
Tesla was also kind enough to plot the data in a graph this time for better visualization:
As you can see it goes up and down, but it’s partly seasonal. There are notoriously more accidents in winter due to road conditions and because it gets dark earlier.
Since Tesla stopped collecting the data, the automaker has also significantly expanded its Full Self-Driving Beta program, which actually allows more Autopilot technology to be used on city roads.
However, it is unclear whether Tesla includes this data in this report.
I know. It’s a very limited data set, and I too wish Tesla were more transparent. But it’s the best we have right now, and it shows some improvements.
This is what we have to work with for now.
As I recently reported, I sincerely hope that Tesla releases more data specifically on its FSD Beta program so that we can begin to see strong numbers paving the way for Tesla to deliver on its self-driving promise.
Rebooting the company to release these reports could be a step in that direction. We will see.
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