Sunday February 17, 2019

Tesla's Autopilot Reduced Crashes by 40 Percent, but Not Really

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report in 2017 claiming Tesla’s Autopilot technology reduced crashes by as much as 40 percent, but an investigation by research firm Quality Control Systems Corporation suggests otherwise. "The majority of the vehicles in the Tesla data set suffered from missing data or other problems that made it impossible to say whether the activation of Autosteer increased or decreased the crash rate." Ars Technica alleges the NHTSA is more concerned with protecting Tesla from embarrassment than the public from "potentially unsafe" technologies.

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...we discovered that the actual mileage at the time the Autosteer software was installed appears to have been reported for fewer than half the vehicles NHTSA studied. For those vehicles that do have apparently exact measurements of exposure mileage both before and after the software's installation, the change in crash rates associated with Autosteer is the opposite of that claimed by NHTSA - if these data are to be believed. For the remainder of the dataset, NHTSA ignored exposure mileage that could not be classified as either before or after the installation of Autosteer.