NHTSA data show that Tesla describes most driver-assisted crashes

The NTSB has released this image of the 2021 Tesla Model 3 long-range dual-motor electric vehicle involved in a fatal accident that killed two people near Miami on September 13, 2021.


Tesla vehicles have accounted for nearly 70% of reported collisions related to advanced driver assistance systems since June last year, according to federal statistics released Wednesday. But authorities warned that the data was incomplete and was not intended to show which automaker’s system was the safest.

According to the Department of Road Safety, this type of data does not yet have the proper context and can be used as a guide to quickly identify potential defect trends and determine if the system is improving vehicle safety. Only used.

At a media event, NHTSA administrator Steven Cliff said, “We encourage you to be careful before drawing conclusions based solely on the data you publish. In fact, data alone raises more questions than answers. There is a possibility. ”

According to the data, Tesla’s cars represent 273 accidents related to advanced driver assistance systems, as companies had to start reporting accidents about a year ago. This is one of 392 crashes reported overall by 11 automakers and one supplier from June to May 15, 2021.

Honda was second with 90 reported accidents, followed by Subaru with 10 and Ford Motor with 5. All other companies reported less than four accidents, including four for Toyota, three for BMW, and two for General Motors.

Data disclosure is the first to require companies to report incidents related to “Level 2” advanced driver assistance systems since the government began mandating it in June 2021. They include Tesla’s systems such as Autopilot and GM’s Supercruise.

The system can control many of the vehicle’s driving functions such as steering, lane centering, braking and acceleration. Some automakers, including GM, allow the system to be used only on designated highways. Tesla and others enable a wide range of uses, including local streets.

The data does not take into account contextual factors such as the number of vehicles manufactured by the car manufacturer, the number of vehicles on the road, or the distance they have traveled. It also depends on when and how much data companies offer. That is, many are incomplete.

For example, data show that crashes involving advanced driver assistance systems have resulted in at least 6 deaths and 5 serious injuries. However, it is unclear if most of the crashes (294 of them) were injured, and more could be injured.

β€œThis is an unprecedented effort to collect near real-time safety data, including these advanced technologies,” Cliff said. “Like most NHTSA work, it takes time to understand what the data tells us, but that’s what we need to hear.”


While Tesla vehicles equipped with the company’s autopilot technology were the most accidental, automakers are also believed to have the largest number of vehicles equipped with such systems on the road. The system also tends to offer better functionality and is allowed to operate in more areas than other systems.

Tesla’s system is marketed in the United States under the Autopilot, Full Self-Driving, and Full-Self-Driving Beta brands.

Tesla celebrity CEO Elon Musk recently said on Twitter that the company’s latest version of the FSD beta will roll out to 100,000 units. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to the Associated Press, Tesla has more vehicles with partially automated systems on US roads than most other automakers. It is about 830,000 units of the 2014 model. It also has a much faster reporting system for collecting real-time data online from the vehicle. This is compared to GM, which has reportedly sold more than 34,000 vehicles since the debut of the Supercruise system in 2017.

NHTSA has strengthened its focus and research on Tesla by aggressively expanding its advanced driver assistance systems, including prototype software for Tesla owners.

In February, Tesla announced that it would recall software from 53,822 US model S, X, 3, and Y vehicles to eliminate the ability to automatically pass stop signs. The car was equipped with a relatively new version of the company’s fully autonomous driving beta software.

The program allows Tesla drivers to automatically navigate complex and crowded urban environments without having to move the steering wheel with their own hands, including “Auto Steer in the City”, a new one that hasn’t been fully debugged yet. Early access to features. Despite its name, fully autonomous beta does not make Tesla cars autonomous.

Continuous data collection

The data will be released approximately a year after NHTSA has issued an order requesting automakers and operators of vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems or autonomous driving systems to report the crash immediately.

NHTSA has also released another report on high-level systems called autonomous driving systems. This can include vehicles that are primarily self-propelled. Most of these systems are still under test and not open to the public, but are open to the public by some companies such as Alphabet’s Waymo and GM’s majority-owned Cruise.

According to NHTSA, 130 autonomous driving system crashes have been reported between June and May 15, 2021. This was followed by Transdev Alternative Services at age 34 and Cruise at age 23 (except for 16 crashes reported individually by GM). Twenty-five companies have reported a crash. They ranged from traditional car makers to one crash each from Tesla and Apple. And it has reportedly worked on such cars for years.

The agency will release monthly data updates about the system.

– CNBC Lola Collodney Contributed to this report.


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