Lex Friedman just released a report titled Tesla Vehicle Deliveries and Autopilot Mileage Statistics. “Over 625,000 Tesla vehicles with the Autopilot Hardware 2+ delivered to date. The learning fleet is growing,” he states below in a Twitter post.
— Lex Fridman (@lexfridman) October 12, 2019
The report provides estimates of Tesla cars delivered and the Autopilot miles driven segmented by its hardware version based on these three milestones:
- September 2014: Autopilot Hardware 1.0 installed (Autopilot not enabled).
- October 2015: Autopilot enabled.
- October 2016: Autopilot Hardware 2.0 released.
Lex cites the primary source for the data on deliveries as the quarterly investor letters, from which his team generated a quarterly estimate of the vehicles delivered by model. The graph below also shows that there have been over 740,095 Teslas with Autopilot capabilities delivered and 625,570 have Autopilot Hardware Version 2+.
Lex covers both total and Autopilot miles. The graph below shows total Autopilot miles on both the first and second generation of the Autopilot hardware, with estimates showing that Autopilot had 1.88 billion miles to date and that miles in all Tesla vehicles were 16.8 billion to date.
Lex also provided a short detail as to how he came up with these numbers. He started with the number of Teslas delivered by quarter and separated them by the versions of Autopilot. Then he did an estimate of per-day deliveries dating all the way back to 2008. After this, he calculated the number of miles driven in each vehicle under both manual and Autopilot control. Lex points out that there are two notable periods that were accounted for.
- Hardware 1 production started around October of 2014 but Autopilot was not enabled until a year later.
- Hardware 2+ production started around October of 2016 but was not enabled until January of 2017.
Lex also credits all of the sources where he got the data from and you can see those here.
What Does This Mean For Tesla?
Lex’s report on Tesla deliveries and Autopilot mileage statistics provides insight into how people who own a Tesla use Autopilot.
The fact that out of almost 16.8 billion miles only 1.88 billion were driven on Autopilot shows that, in general, people are still a bit shy when it comes to giving control of their driving to the car. I’ve even had several friends here who own a Tesla tell me that, “Sorry, I am not ready for Autopilot,” meaning they prefer driving manually to letting the car have control.
These numbers show Tesla’s team that there’s an opportunity for Tesla — both the company and owners who are advocates for Autopilot — to demonstrate just how vital Autopilot is.
Another way to look at it is that, since 2015, when Autopilot was first enabled, there have been over a billion miles driven on it. This is a great thing and it shows that people are embracing Autopilot. No other company compares for such technology, in terms of miles of data collected from the real world. When it comes to the overall trust, people are going to be cautious, especially when they are in a situation where they are being asked to relinquish their own control.
Autopilot, unlike what you might have seen in the news as demonstrated by people misusing it, is not fully self-driving yet. It’s still a technology that is in its youth. It’s still growing and learning. Unlike what many may think, it hasn’t graduated high school yet, so those who use it need to realize that they are still in control as long as they are staying focused and are constantly aware of their surroundings. Reading a book, eating a bagel, and not paying attention to the obstacles in front of you is a great example of not letting go of control … but actively throwing it out the proverbial window.
Lex’s data shows just how much Autopilot has grown and is continuing to grow, and we can all learn from the summary charts.
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