NHTSA data shows Tesla accounts for most crashes with driver assistance

The NTSB released this image of a 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor electric car involved in a fatal accident near Miami that killed two people on September 13, 2021.

NTSB

Tesla According to federal figures released Wednesday, vehicles are responsible for nearly 70% of reported accidents involving advanced driver assistance systems. But officials warned that the data is incomplete and is not intended to indicate which automakers’ systems are the safest.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the first data of its kind is not yet in context and is only intended as a guide to quickly identify potential defect trends and help determine whether the systems improve vehicle safety.

“I would be careful before trying to draw conclusions based on just the data we release. In fact, the data can only raise more questions than it answers,” NHTSA administrator Steven Cliff said at a media event.

According to the data, Tesla cars accounted for 273 accidents involving its advanced driver assistance systems, as companies had to start reporting the incidents about a year ago. That’s out of 392 accidents reported in total by 11 automakers and one supplier from June 2021 to May 15.

Honda came in second with 90 reported accidents, followed by Subaru in 10 and Ford Motor on five. All other companies reported four or fewer accidents, including Toyota at four, BMW at three and General engines At two o’clock.

The data release is the first since the government began requiring companies to report incidents involving Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems, which are intended to help an observant driver, but not replace them. They include Tesla’s systems such as Autopilot and GM’s Super Cruise.

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The systems can control many of a vehicle’s driving functions, such as steering, lane centering, braking and acceleration. Some automakers, including GM, only allow the systems to be used on designated highways. Tesla and others are enabling wider use, including on local streets.

The data does not take into account contextual factors such as the number of vehicles automakers have made, the number of vehicles they have on the road, or the distances traveled by those vehicles. When and how much data is provided by companies also varies, meaning much of it is incomplete.

For example, accidents involving advanced driver assistance systems have resulted in at least six deaths and five serious injuries, according to the data. It is unknown, however, whether most of the accidents – 294 of them – were injured, meaning there are likely more.

“This is an unprecedented effort to collect near real-time security data related to these advanced technologies,” Cliff said. “Understanding the story the data tells will take time, as most of NHTSA’s work does, but it’s a story we need to hear.”

Tesla

While Tesla cars with the company’s Autopilot technology had the most accidents, the automaker is also believed to have the most number of vehicles with such systems on the road. The systems also tend to offer more capabilities and are allowed to work in more areas than other systems.

Tesla’s systems are marketed in the US under the Autopilot, Full Self Driving and Full Self Driving Beta brands

Tesla’s famous CEO, Elon Musk, recently said on Twitter that the company’s latest version of FSD Beta would be rolled out to 100,000 cars. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the Associated PressTesla has more vehicles with partially automated systems operating on U.S. roads than most other automakers — about 830,000, dating from the 2014 model year. And it collects real-time vehicle data online, so it has a much faster reporting system. That compares to GM, which has reportedly sold more than 34,000 vehicles since its Super Cruise system debuted in 2017.

The NHTSA has intensified its focus and research on Tesla due to the company’s aggressive expansion of advanced driver assistance systems, including prototype software for Tesla owners

In February, Tesla said: it would invoke software of 53,822 of its Model S, X, 3 and Y vehicles in the US to eliminate a feature that allows cars to automatically roll past stop signs. The cars will feature a relatively new version of the company’s Full Self-Driving Beta software.

That program will give Tesla drivers early access to new features that have not yet been fully debugged, including “automatic steering on city streets,” which allows drivers to automatically navigate complex and congested urban environments without having to move the steering wheel with their own hands. Despite the name, Full Self-Driving Beta does not make Tesla vehicles autonomous.

Continuous data collection

The release of the data comes nearly a year after the NHTSA issued an order requiring automakers and operators of vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance or automated driving systems to immediately report accidents.

The NHTSA also released a separate report on higher-level systems, known as automated driving systems, which may include the vehicles that are largely self-driving. Most of these systems are still being tested and are not available to the public, but some companies, such as alphabets Waymo and GM’s majority-owned Cruise have opened their operations to the public.

The NHTSA says 130 accidents involving automated driving systems were reported between June 2021 and May 15. Waymo, age 62, had the most. It was followed by Transdev Alternative Services at 34, and Cruise at 23 (excluding 16 crashes reported separately by GM). Twenty-five companies reported crashes. They ranged from traditional automakers to one Tesla crash and… Applewhich one has reportedly worked on such a vehicle for years.

The agency plans to release data updates related to the systems on a monthly basis.

– CNBCs Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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