Tesla has released its latest Autopilot safety report, and it shows some improvements despite the limited data making things hard to analyze.
Since 2018, Tesla has been trying to create a benchmark for its improvement in Autopilot safety by releasing a quarterly report that compares the number of miles per accident on Autopilot versus off Autopilot.
Today, Tesla released its safety report for Q4 2021 (between October and December):
“In the 4th quarter, we recorded one crash for every 4.31 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology (Autosteer and active safety features). For drivers who were not using Autopilot technology (no Autosteer and active safety features), we recorded one crash for every 1.59 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 484,000 miles.”
The automaker did it a little different this time and only released data for miles driven with Autopilot and safety features and without any Autopilot or safety features.
Previously, Tesla also released miles drive “without Autopilot but with our active safety features“.
The data was already 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 mostly being used.
But we still can compare the data with previous reports.
However, as the company writes in the report, we need to take into account seasonality:
“Note: Seasonality can affect crash rates from quarter to quarter, particularly in quarters where reduced daylight and inclement or wintry weather conditions are more common. To minimize seasonality as a variable, compare a quarter to the same quarter in prior years.”
If we compare Tesla’s latest Q4 2021 numbers to the previous quarter, the safety appears to be down, but it is significantly up if compared to Q4 2020:
- Accident in miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology (Autosteer and active safety features): One crash for every 4.31 million miles driven in Q4 2021 vs one every 3.45 million miles in Q4 2020
- Accident in miles driven not using Autopilot technology (no Autosteer and active safety features): one crash for every 1.59 million miles driven in Q4 2021 versus one crash for every 1.27 million miles driven in Q4 2020.
It shows a significant improvement year-over-year based on this dataset, which again is fairly limited.
Tesla also doesn’t release similar safety data for its Full Self-Driving Beta testing program.
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Author: Fred Lambert