Tesla's autopilot is better than you, statistically

Tesla releases first quarterly safety report
In this Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, palm trees are reflected on the hood of a Tesla Model S on display in downtown Los Angeles. Tesla says it recorded one accident for every 3.34 million miles driven when the autopilot was engaged. That number of per-mile accidents rises to 1.92 million when autopilot is not on. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

When it's machine versus man, it's more likely you'll be exchanging insurance information with man, according to data released by the electric-car maker Tesla.

In the first quarterly report on the safety of its autonomous vehicles, Tesla said it recorded one accident for every 3.34 million miles driven when the autopilot was engaged. That is a vastly better record than the one compiled by humans.

The most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows one auto crash for every 492,000 miles driven in the U.S. without an autonomous assist.

In Tesla cars that do not have the autopilot engaged, the company said it recorded one accident or crash-like event every 1.92 million miles.

The crash of any autonomous Tesla vehicle receives intense coverage due to the fascination over the confluence of technology and man, and also fascination with the company's CEO, Elon Musk.

Musk has grown agitated over that coverage.

After a Model S collided with a firetruck this spring in Utah and the driver suffered a broken ankle, Musk tweeted that "It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (tilde)40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage."

Tesla says it's now going to start publicly releasing accident data every quarter.

"Early Friday, Tesla put the brakes on the autonomous features of its latest software, called "Version 9.

The technology is intended to allow autonomous technology to take over a vehicle to pass cars on highways, and also handle highway entrances and exits.

Musk said in an early morning tweet that the software is being released widely right now, but that the autopilot functions will undergo a few more weeks of testing.

"Extremely difficult to achieve a general solution for self-driving that works well everywhere," Musk tweeted .

Shares of Tesla Inc. slid 5 percent in early trading Friday with a broader sell-off in U.S. markets.


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Tesla won't disable Autopilot despite accidents: report

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Oct 05, 2018
Still apples to oranges. The autopilot simply doesn't work and cannot be turned on in all situations.

Motorways are vastly safer per miles driven than smaller urban/rural roads. About 5% of all road accidents occur on motorways, which is where the autopilot can be engaged. 95% of accidents occur elsewhere, where the autopilot largely cannot be used because it's too complex for it to navigate.

The accident rate of 1 in 492,000 miles matches approximately that other 95% of cases, and if you were to look at only the motorway accidents, you would expect to see something on the order of 1 in 10 million miles. If the Tesla autopilot is doing 3.34 million miles between accidents on the motorways, it's actually crashing three times more than the average driver would.

Oct 05, 2018
The one-page report did not include any details on the collisions but follows some crashes that were highly publicized, just because there is so much interest in the cars and their autonomous systems

Yeah. Just like people were crying about the batteries being "fire hazards"...and when they finally looked up the numbers it turns out that - per mile driven - a gasoline car is 5 times more likely to catch fire.

Oopsie.

Oct 06, 2018
Yeah. Just like people were crying about the batteries being "fire hazards"...and when they finally looked up the numbers it turns out that - per mile driven - a gasoline car is 5 times more likely to catch fire.


Again. Apples to oranges. "Gasoline cars" includes nearly all cars on the road, some of which are in very bad repair and 50 years old. Meanwhile, lithium electric vehicles statistics include a scant few models, all of which are new. What do you think is more likely to catch fire? A 25 year old Ford with frayed wiring, or a brand new Tesla?

The other irony is that electrical faults are one of the most common reasons that cars burn up. Some others are smoking in the vehicle, aftermarket (electric) accessories, and arson - so you're actually counting fires that have nothing to do with the car's technology.

Oopsie.


Indeed.

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