Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that a Tesla in autopilot mode is 10 times less likely to crash than a car with a driver, referring to the company’s safety report .
Tesla has published a safety report for the first quarter of 2021 . The company has been publishing such quarterly reports since 2018. In this report, the ratio of miles per collision compares with and without autopilot
In the first quarter of this year, an accident occurred for every 4.19 million miles (6.7 million km) driven by autopilot . In cases where autopilot was not used but safety features were enabled , an accident was recorded for every 2.05 million miles (3.3 million km) traveled . For those who drove without autopilot and additional functions, one accident was also recorded for every 978 thousand miles (1.57 million km) .
Only highway tests are taken into account
Tesla compares these figures with the latest data from the National Road Traffic Safety Administration , which reports an accident within every 484,000 miles (778,000 km) of the country . However, on most Tesla vehicles equipped with the autopilot (1.0 to 3.0) version, these functions are mainly used for highway driving , while national government statistics take all traffic situations into account. Moreover, accidents are more common in the city and this is an important detail.
Electrek compared the company’s data with its performance for the same period last year, and the data came out as follows:
- In 2020, with the autopilot turned on, one accident was recorded for every 4.68 million miles (7.5 million km) ;
- In 2020, there was an accident for every 1.99 million miles (3.2 million km) with active safety features ;
- With autopilot and safety features turned off, one crash was recorded for every 1.42 million miles (2.3 million km) .
So, over the year, there is indeed an improvement in the autopilot’s performance , but it is also clear that the number of non- autopilot accidents has decreased.
Electrek representatives note that Elon Musk’s claims that the autopilot is 10 times better than the normal driver in terms of accident-free operation should be criticized . Because Tesla’s autopilot system is currently being tested only on highways . However, most accidents occur in urban areas where they have not yet learned how to deal with various traffic scenarios .