Update: 3/15: added paragraphs 9 and 10 to reflect weather and seasonality, which affect crash rates from quarter to quarter, as Tesla notes.
Tesla Autopilot traveled fewer miles between accidents in Q4 2022 compared to the quarter prior, the company’s vehicle safety report showed. However, there was in improvement compared to Q4 2021.
In the fourth quarter, Tesla recorded one crash for every 4.85 million miles driven in which drivers utilized Autopilot. In the third quarter, Tesla had one accident for every 6.26 million miles driven.
The company wrote:
“In the 4th quarter, we recorded one crash for every 4.85 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology.”
Q3 was Tesla’s second-strongest quarter in terms of miles traveled on Autopilot before an accident, with only Q1 2022 showing stronger numbers. Tesla registered an accident once every 6.57 million miles in Q1.
Tesla also had a decrease in miles traveled per accident for drivers not using Autopilot compared to Q3:
“For drivers who were not using Autopilot technology, we recorded one crash for every 1.40 million miles driven.”
Despite the decrease, Tesla Autopilot still shows stronger numbers than the national average. The NHTSA and FHWA show that one accident occurs every 652,000 miles traveled in the United States.
However, Q4 was Tesla’s least impressive performance in terms of miles traveled in between accidents. Tesla utilizes a neural network to improve Autopilot’s performance with every mile driven. This has been the company’s most significant advantage in terms of its development of semi-autonomous driver assistance programs.
It was an improvement from Q4 in the previous year, which could be affected by weather conditions. Tesla notes:
Autopilot has not been recognized as the most robust driver assistance system by media outlets. After Consumer Reports indicated Ford Blue Cruise and GM SuperCruise were the best available suites on the market, Tesla Autopilot slipped to 7th place.
Tesla Autopilot has also been subjected to investigations from U.S. regulators. A 2014 Model S that struck a firetruck in California last month is the most recent investigation to be launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after the agency had already initiated a probe to determine why the vehicles have collided with emergency vehicles.
Nevertheless, Tesla Autopilot, despite the slide in Q4, is still showing more miles traveled than the national average. Autopilot is still a work in progress, and Tesla’s biggest focus is autonomy, according to CEO Elon Musk.
Musk said earlier this month that its next vehicle would be capable of handling most of its operation in autonomous modes.
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