Tesla Autopilot drives better than humans, company stats reveal

By TeslaFOXBusiness

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Tesla vehicles have recorded accident rates that are far better than the U.S. average, according to new data published by the company Friday.

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The electric carmaker said owners experienced one accident or crash-like event – defined as near misses – every 3.34 million miles driven during the third quarter when Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous system was engaged. Without Autopilot, Tesla logged one accident or crash-like event per 1.92 million miles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said a crash occurs on U.S. roads every 492,000 miles, Tesla noted.

Tesla, which collects a variety of data from its customers’ vehicles, said it will start releasing safety reports on a quarterly basis.

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Tesla vehicles have earned high marks in crash tests. The Model 3 recently received a five-star safety rating from NHTSA, joining the Model S and Model X, which also have perfect scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Model 3 a “superior” mark for front-crash prevention.

TSLATESLA INC.273.26+2.03+0.75%

Past accidents involving Tesla vehicles have received widespread attention, drawing criticism of the media coverage from CEO Elon Musk. Autopilot has drawn regulatory scrutiny following crashes in which the automated driving feature was activated.

The Palo Alto, California-based company is nearing the release of an upgraded Autopilot mode. In a tweet Friday, Musk said Tesla had begun rolling out an update to its vehicle software, but owners will have to wait “a few more weeks” before receiving a new Autopilot option. The feature, Navigate on Autopilot, will suggest lane changes and automatically steer cars through highway exits and on-ramps, according to Tesla.

Shares of Tesla were down more than 6 percent midday Friday.

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