Tesla has released its first Autopilot safety report on Thursday, following promises from CEO Elon Musk in May that the company would do so quarterly after highly-publicised crashes involving its cars.
The one-page report claims that in the third quarter of 2018, there has been one accident or crash-like event for every 3.34 million miles for Tesla cars driven with Autopilot.
Without Autopilot engaged, Tesla registered one accident or crash-like event for every 1.92 million miles driven.
Tesla compared their findings to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, whose latest data shows “an automobile crash every 492,000 miles,” — this doesn’t include near-misses that Tesla has recorded in its report.
That’s the extent of the detail, however, with no other information available on the types of accidents which occured or the reasons for the accidents/near-misses involving Tesla drivers who used autopilot.
Tesla said it designed a new method to record data from its vehicles, allowing it to “gather the most critical fleet-wide statistics from the exact moment a crash-related event is detected by our system.”
“While there are still some unique cases in which crash data may not be available to us through this channel, we believe this system currently provides the best framework for safety reporting on an ongoing basis,” Tesla’s report added.
The publishing of the company’s first safety report coincides with Consumer Reports’ first ranking of automated driving systems, in which Cadillac’s Super-Cruise was rated at the top, excelling at keeping the driver engaged through eye-tracking technology.
Tesla’s Autopilot came in second, where it scored highly on ease of use and capabilities, but fell on ensuring the driver is paying attention. Autopilot prompts drivers to apply pressure or hold onto the steering wheel to make sure of this, which the publication notes isn’t enough.
“This is an insufficient way of measuring driver attention, and it provides little assurance that the driver is even awake,” Consumer Reports’ Patrick Olsen writes.
“Because of the impressive ability of Tesla’s Autopilot to keep the vehicle centered in its lane, it’s easy for drivers to become overreliant on it.”
Tesla’s Q3 of 2018 also saw the manufacturer produce 80,142 vehicles, 50 percent higher than its numbers in Q2 of the same year.
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