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Tesla releases new Autopilot safety report: more crashes but still fewer than when humans drive

Tesla has released its new Autopilot safety report for the first quarter of 2019. It’s the automaker’s third report since launching this new initiative in response to what the company saw as unfair coverage of accidents involving its vehicles by the media.

The new report shows more crashes when using Autopilot, but the data shows that you are still less likely to have an accident on Autopilot than when it is not engaged.

Tesla’s first safety report was released in October of last year for the third quarter 2018.

At the time, Tesla said that it registered “one accident per 3.34 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged.”

As for miles driven without Autopilot, Tesla said that registered “one accident or crash-like event for every 1.92 million miles driven.”

For its fourth quarter report, Tesla changed its approach and instead launched a microsite for the vehicle safety report.

The automaker confirmed that accidents on Autopilot went up to one per 2.91 million miles during the last quarter.

Same thing for miles driven by humans in Tesla vehicles: one per 1.58 million miles.

Now for the first quarter of 2019, Tesla updated its safety report confirming that accidents on Autopilot per mile went up:

“In the 1st quarter, we registered one accident for every 2.87 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot, we registered one accident for every 1.76 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 436,000 miles.”

Interestingly, accidents per mile without Autopilot went down during the last quarter.

Tesla has committed to releasing those numbers on a quarterly basis.

Electrek’s Take

As I have previously stated, it’s great that Tesla is keeping good on their promise to release those reports every quarter even when the data is not improving.

They are not required to and we aren’t seeing any other automakers doing the same thing. Maybe they should follow Tesla’s lead on that front. It could become an interesting metric to follow industry-wide, especially with the advent of driver assist systems.

During the last quarter drop, we noted that it could be explained by the bad weather in some markets during the fourth quarter since both metrics (with Autopilot on and off) went down.

It can still be true for the first quarter, when the weather can still be harsh in many of Tesla’s markets, but the accidents without Autopilot actually went down during the same period.

I don’t know how to explain the increase in crashes with Autopilot activated in this case – especially since I feel Autopilot improved during the quarter.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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