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Tesla releases Q2 2020 safety report: strong year-over-year improvement in Autopilot accidents

Tesla has released its Q2 2020 safety report showing a strong year-over-year improvement in Autopilot accidents, but a small regression quarter-over-quarter.

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 report for the last quarter:

In the 2nd quarter, we registered one accident for every 4.53 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 2.27 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.56 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 479,000 miles.

In comparison, Tesla had an accident on Autopilot every 3.27 million miles in Q2 2019.

That’s a significant improvement in just a year.

However, it’s a slight increase accident over last quarter when Tesla has one accident on Autopilot for every 4.68 million miles.

Of note, average mileage has been gradually going up in Q2 after a sharp decline at the end of Q1 due to lockdown orders amid the pandemic.

Electrek’s Take

Since Autopilot is currently primarily used on highways where it’s easier to accumulate a lot of mileage without accidents and non-Autopilot mileage is coming from city driving, where accidents are more likely, the two datasets can not really be compared.

But it’s still useful to compare the Autopilot mileage per accident year-over-year. The data is far from perfect, but it’s the best we have for now.

Tesla is going to need a lot of more data if they ever want to convince the authority to allow them to deploy their full self-driving system.

With the improvements, it’s important to keep in mind that Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features are currently only driver assist features and drivers should always remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times.

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