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Teslas With Autopilot On Go 6.6× Further Than US Average Before Crashing — Tesla Safety Report

We may have commentary and extra analysis on this Tesla safety report in the coming days. Or not. For now, below is the full Tesla safety report for Q2 2019. For previous news on this topic, see our Tesla safety and EV safety archives.

We may have commentary and extra analysis on this Tesla safety report in the coming days. Or not. For now, below is the Tesla safety report for Q2 2019. Probably the most interesting statistics are that Teslas with Autopilot turned on went 3.27 million miles before crashing, on average, whereas general US data showed 498,000 miles between crashes. In other words, a Tesla with Autopilot running goes approximately 6.6× further than a typical US automobile between crashes.

For previous news on this topic, see our Tesla safety and EV safety archives.

By Tesla

At Tesla, we believe that technology can help improve safety. That’s why Tesla vehicles are engineered to be the safest cars in the world. We believe the unique combination of passive safety, active safety, and automated driver assistance is crucial for keeping not just Tesla drivers and passengers safe, but all drivers on the road. It’s this notion that grounds every decision we make – from the design of our cars, to the software we introduce, to the features we offer every Tesla owner.

Model S, X and 3 have achieved the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by the U.S. government’s New Car Assessment Program. Much of this has to do with the rigid, fortified structure of the battery pack that is mounted to a car’s floor, which provides a vehicle with exceptional strength, large crumple zones, and a uniquely low center of gravity. Because of their strength, Tesla’s battery packs rarely incur serious damage in accidents. And, in the extremely unlikely event that a fire occurs, the state-of-the-art design of our battery packs ensures that its safety system works as intended and isolates a fire to select areas within the battery while simultaneously venting heat away from the passenger cabin and the vehicle.

While no car can prevent all accidents, we work every day to try to make them much less likely to occur. Active safety features come standard on all Tesla vehicles made after September 2014 for an added layer of safety beyond the physical structure of each car. Because every Tesla is connected, we’re able to use the billions of miles of real-world data from our global fleet – of which more than 1 billion have been driven with Autopilot engaged – to understand the different ways accidents happen. We then develop features that can help Tesla drivers mitigate or avoid accidents. And through over-the-air software updates, we’re able to introduce safety features and enhancements long after a car has been delivered.

In October 2018, we began voluntarily releasing quarterly safety data in order to provide critical safety information about our vehicles to the public, and in July 2019 we began voluntarily releasing data about vehicle fires as well.

Accident Data

Q2 2019

In the 2nd quarter, we registered one accident for every 3.27 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 2.19 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.41 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 498,000 miles.*

*Note: Since we released our last quarterly safety report, NHTSA has released new data, which we’ve referenced in this quarter’s report.

Q1 2019

In the 1st quarter, we registered one accident for every 2.87 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.76 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.26 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 436,000 miles.

Q4 2018

In the 4th quarter, we registered one accident for every 2.91 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.58 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.25 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 436,000 miles.*

*Note: Since we released our Q3 report, NHTSA has released new data, which we’ve referenced in our Q4 report.

Q3 2018

Over the past quarter, we’ve registered one accident or crash-like event for every 3.34 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident or crash-like event for every 1.92 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident or crash-like event for every 2.02 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 492,000 miles.

Vehicle Fire Data

Tesla vehicle fires are exceptionally rare events, and in some cases, there have been zero Tesla vehicle fires in a quarter. That means that an increase from one fire per quarter to two per quarter represents an increase of 100%. In order to avoid misinterpretation of these numbers and provide a meaningful comparison to industry data, Tesla will publish an update to vehicle fire data annually.

2018

From 2012–2018, there has been approximately one Tesla vehicle fire for every 170 million miles traveled. By comparison, data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation shows that in the United States there is a vehicle fire for every 19 million miles traveled.

In order to provide an apt comparison to NFPA data, Tesla’s data set includes instances of vehicle fires caused by structure fires, arson, and other things unrelated to the vehicle, which account for about 15% of Tesla vehicle fires over this time period.

 
 
 
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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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