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Tesla Autopilot: new safety report shows more crashes but still appear safer than humans

Tesla has released its new Autopilot safety report for the fourth quarter. It’s the automaker’s second report since launching this new initiative in response to what the company sees as unfair coverage of accidents by the media.

Accidents per mile were up last quarter, but it seems like Autopilot still appear safer than humans.

In October, we reported on Tesla’s first safety report, which was 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 today 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.

According to NHTSA’s most recent data,  the overall average is one accident per 436,000 miles – meaning that accidents are rarer in Tesla vehicles.

Nonetheless, accident per miles went up for both Autopilot and human drivers versus the previous quarter, but that can be explained by driving conditions being more difficult in most markets during the last few months of the year.

Electrek’s Take

Good on Tesla for keeping good on their promise to release those reports every quarter.

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.

While we would like to see improvements every quarter, I think it’s understandable that it wouldn’t improve in Q4 with less daylight and snowfall and ice in some markets.

Now that Tesla is releasing those reports every quarter, it will be interesting to see how it improves for the same periods every year and as Tesla introduces more advanced active safety features.

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