Tesla Autopilot Would Avoid 90% of Car Accidents

Tesla autopilot

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) published its Automotive Safety Report for Q3 2020 at the end of November, which reveals that its Autopilot vehicles are approximately 10 times safer than other vehicles on U.S. roads. The advancement of autonomous driving in Europe is at best slow-moving, although the California manufacturer has made massive efforts to achieve Level 5 autonomy. 

Recently, however, researchers in Germany have proposed that, and with good reason, this could change. The researchers suggest that if Tesla Autopilot were now mounted on all cars in Germany, hundreds of thousands of car accidents would be avoided.

“Legislative procedures that provide legal support for autonomous driving are progressing slowly,” criticizes Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Duisburg.

Accidents occur about every 300,000 kilometers (186,400 miles) in Germany and the number of accidents will be drastically decreased by using Autopilot, Dudenhöffer says. Moreover, as data from Germany reveals, the number of car accidents per kilometer of travel has risen dramatically over the past three years. Accordingly, an accident occurred in 2013 only for every 300,661 kilometers (186,822 miles), but by 2019 this number increased for every 281,849 kilometers (175,132 miles) to one accident. The number of injuries has risen by around 6 percent in the last three years alone. 

The situation is different in the United States, as accidents occur, on average, about half as often as in Germany. For this, there are many explanations. One may be that various statistical registration approaches are used by nations. Another is that in the US, the road infrastructure is, to a large degree, different, with tighter speed limits and geographical variations.

The researchers point out that between traditional vehicles and Tesla vehicles with Autopilot activated or safety features, the gap in accident rates is even more apparent.

Tesla Vehicle Safety Report Q3 2020:

We recorded one accident in the third quarter for every 4.59 million miles driven in which Autopilot had engaged drivers. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we recorded one accident for every 2.42 million miles driven. We recorded one accident for every 1.79 million miles driven for those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features. 

What that would mean if all cars in Germany were fitted with Tesla Autopilot last year has been estimated by the CAR Institute. Instead of 281,849 injuries, according to their estimates, there would have been just 29,413 accidents. In other words, there will be just about 10% of injuries, preventing a whopping 90% of road accidents. "This illustrates the long-term promise of such a protection technology, allowing Autopilot to be used," concludes Dudenhöffer.