Tesla finally releases Autopilot safety data after more than a year

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Tesla has finally decided to release its Autopilot safety data report after taking a break of more than a year.

For years, Tesla used to release a “Vehicle safety report” that tracked miles between accidents in its vehicles based on the level of Autopilot used or not used and compared it to the industry average.

The automaker used the report to claim that its Autopilot technology resulted in a much safer driving experience and that its vehicles would crash much less often than the average car in the US even without Autopilot.

The data was always limited and criticized for not taking into account that accidents are more common on city roads and undivided roads than on the highways, where Autopilot is most commonly used.

But it was the only data that Tesla was willing to release about its Autopilot and therefore, it was still useful to track progress.

However, Tesla stopped reporting the data after Q4 2022 without explaining why.

Tesla has now decided to release the data more than a year later:

Screenshot

Interestingly, Q1 2023, which Tesla is only releasing now, showed a significant decrease in miles driven between accidents compared to the same period for the year prior, which might explain why Tesla stopped releasing the data at that time.

The automaker is only now releasing the data as Q1 2024 shows a significant improvement for Autopilot:

In the 1st quarter, we recorded one crash for every 7.63 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology. For drivers who were not using Autopilot technology, we recorded one crash for every 955,000 miles driven. By comparison, the most recent data available from NHTSA and FHWA (from 2022) shows that in the United States there was an automobile crash approximately every 670,000 miles.

The data is better compared year-over-year rather than quarter-over-quarter due to seasons having a significant impact on accident rates.

Electrek’s Take

This data doesn’t include Full Self-Driving although that gets murky as of late since Tesla now uses the same software stacks with limited functionalities for Autopilot.

It’s nice to see a significant improvement in safety in Q1 2024 despite the limited usefulness of the data. However, I’m really disappointed in Tesla for only releasing the data now that it starts looking better and stopping to release the data in Q1 2023 as it looked bad.

This shows a lack of transparency that doesn’t help build confidence in ADAS systems.

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