Tesla is always in the news, when a Tesla vehicle in Autopilot mode is involved in a crash. The Autopilot is a driver assist system that is on Level 2 of the Autonomy Levels according to SAE.
The company decided to publish a quarterly report with statistics, how often Tesla vehicles are involved in crashes or crash-like situations. Tesla defines a crash-like situations as near misses.
Thanks to over-the-air-updates and connectivity, Tesla has access to vehicle data and thanks to their sales model, also know their customers. Tesla is storing the crash data for insurance and claim .purposes
In the first quarterly report for Q3/2018 Tesla reports the following numbers.:
- On average, a Tesla vehicle was involved in a crash or crash-like situation every 3.34 million miles (5.344 million kilometers), when the Autopilot was engaged.
- On average, a Tesla vehicle was involved in a crash or crash-like situation every 1.92 million miles (3.072 million kilometers) without engaged Autopilot.
- The NHTSA numbers show that in the US, a crash happens on average every 492,000 miles (787,200 kilometers).*)
*) The NHTSA only counts reported crashes, but no crash-like situations.
Those numbers indicate that Tesla vehicles with engaged Autopilot are 57 percent safer, than without. But we have to consider that the Autopilot is recommended for use under certain conditions, such as stop-and-go, highway etc.), and not necessarily in a busy downtown. Insofar it’s not yet clear, whether those numbers are looking at the same conditions.
If the crash-like situations are considered – which according to Tesla are not a a crash – then the safety statistics seems even better. How much, Tesla did not tell. A comparison with the NHTSA-data seems to indicate a 679 percent safer driving.
In the future Tesla also wants to use its direct contact with the customers to assemble data on injuries of people involved in the crash in order to improve Autopilot features and vehicle safety.
This article has also been published in German.