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Tesla restarts its Autopilot safety reports, claims improvements

Tesla has begun publishing its quarterly Autopilot safety reports after a year-long hiatus. The automaker claims there are some improvements.

Since 2018, Tesla has been trying to create a benchmark for improving Autopilot safety by releasing a quarterly report comparing the number of miles per accident on Autopilot and off Autopilot.

The data has always been limited and criticized for not taking into account that accidents are more common on city and undivided roads than on motorways, where Autopilot is mainly used.

However, it was still useful to compare it to itself over time and see if there was improvement, and sometimes there were incremental improvements.

Tesla suddenly stopped publishing those quarterly reports in 2022 without any explanation.

Now, the carmaker has decided to restart it and has released reports for all quarters up to the third quarter of 2022.

Tesla wrote for the latest data:

In the third quarter, we recorded one accident for every 6.26 million miles driven in which drivers used Autopilot technology. For drivers who did not use Autopilot technology, we recorded one accident for every 1.71 million miles driven. By comparison, the most recent data available from the NHTSA and FHVA (from 2021) shows that there was a traffic accident in the United States approximately every 652,000 miles.

That compares to one accident for every 4.35 million miles driven with Autopilot technology in Q4 2021 — the last time Tesla regularly released data.

Tesla was also kind enough to graph the data this time for better visualization:

As you can see, it goes up and down, but that’s partly seasonal. There are significantly more accidents during the winter due to road conditions and because it gets dark faster.

Since Tesla stopped collecting data, the automaker has also significantly increased its Full Self-Driving Beta program, which actually allows more Autopilot technology to be used on city roads.

However, it is unclear whether Tesla includes this data in this report.

Electrek’s Take

I know. It’s a very limited set of data, and I too would like Tesla to be more transparent. But it’s the best we’ve got right now, and it shows some improvements.

That’s what we have to work with for now.

As I reported recently, I sincerely hope Tesla releases more data specifically about its FSD Beta program so we can see some solid numbers for Tesla to deliver on its self-driving promise.

A company starting to publish these reports again could be a step in that direction. We’ll see.

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