Tesla Autopilot prevents around 40 crashes per day that would have been caused by sudden unintended acceleration (SUA). This news comes from Tesla’s Autopilot Software Director, Ashok Elluswamy, who shared this news during his workshop at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) in New Orleans earlier this summer. He later published the workshop on YouTube and shared it on Twitter.
These predictions are already used to prevent a lot of collisions. For e.g., Autopilot prevents ~40 crashes / day where human drivers mistakenly press the accelerator at 100% instead of the brakes. In the video Autopilot automatically brakes, saving this person's legs (7/12) pic.twitter.com/XtMssPT9cM
— Ashok Elluswamy (@aelluswamy) August 21, 2022
In the video, Ashok goes over how Autopilot is able to avoid collisions and highlighted some of the safety features that Autopilot has.
“Here, I’m showing a particular mode of failure of humans where they accidentally press the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal. For example, these people are pressing the accelerator pedal thinking that they’re pressing the brake pedal. But the car realizes that they are doing this and are heading towards a collision and automatically cuts out the acceleration, and presses the brake to prevent the humans from colliding.”
Ashok explained that this particular driver would have launched their car into a river if it wasn’t for Autopilot saving them. He shared another video of where a person was trying to park but they pressed the accelerator instead of the brake. Tesla Autopilot prevented them from crashing into the storefront and the pedestrian that was going inside.
Although Autopilot saves many humans, Ashok emphasized that more collisions remain to be prevented. He shared instances where drivers would misapply the pedals and would be saved by Autopilot. In one video, the driver’s decision to switch gears and reverse at full speed caused them to hit the garage.
“While that’s incredibly sad, I’m glad no one was harmed in this accident, but it’s kind of senseless to collide when we have a great system that can detect general obstacles,” he said.
Ashok also pointed out the three things a self-driving car needs to be useful: safe, comfortable, and reasonably fast. You can watch the full workshop in the video below.
Note: Johnna is a Tesla shareholder and supports its mission.