Tesla Autopilot tops the list of most crashes on driver-assist features in recent NHTSA report

Tesla has topped the list of most crashes on advanced driver-assist (ADAS) features – Autopilot in Tesla’s case – in NHTSA’s first report on “Safety Performance of Advanced Vehicle Technologies.”

Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Administrator, commented on the report:

The info released today are a part of our commitment to transparency, accountability and public safety. Recent vehicle technologies have the potential to assist prevent crashes, reduce crash severity and save lives, and the Department is curious about fostering technologies which can be proven to achieve this; collecting this data is a very important step in that effort. As we gather more data, NHTSA will have the opportunity to higher discover any emerging risks or trends and learn more about how these technologies are performing in the actual world.

The report is broken down into two sections: one for the SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems and one for SAE Levels 3-5 automated driving systems. Systems with traffic-aware cruise control and lane-keeping features fall under the extent 2.

Tesla Autopilot falls under that category and in accordance with the report, it leads in crashes by a large margin:

Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be adjusted for the variety of vehicles on the road with ADAS – nor the variety of miles driven on ADAS – and Tesla is believed to have more vehicles than anyone equipped ADAS features, because it has included Autopilot totally free on all vehicles for years while most other automakers charge for ADAS features.

As for levels 3 to five, NHTSA describes those as systems able to handling the “entire dynamic driving task under defined operating conditions and won’t require a human driver to observe and supervise the automation system.”

It looks like NHTSA considers Tesla’s FSD Beta in its category because Tesla showed up within the report with one crash:

In February, we reported on a Tesla vehicle on Full Self-Driving Beta running right into a pole in what we believed could possibly be the primary FSD Beta accident caught on video. In levels 3 to five, Alphabet’s Waymo leads crashes with 62, followed by Transdev and GM’s Cruise with 34 and 23 crashes respectively.

Those systems are currently mostly utilized in test programs in specific areas, especially in California and Arizona.

All the info is from July 2021 to May 2022.

Again, NHTSA specifies that it hasn’t normalized the info for miles driven and subsequently, it doesn’t represent the extent of safety in any of those systems.

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