NHTSA knowledge exhibits Tesla accounts for many driver-assist crashes


The NTSB launched this picture of a 2021 Tesla Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary Twin Motor electrical automobile that was concerned in a deadly accident close to Miami that killed two individuals on Sept. 13, 2021.


Tesla automobiles have accounted for practically 70% of reported crashes involving superior driver-assist programs since final June, in keeping with federal figures launched Wednesday. However officers warned that the information is incomplete and is not meant to point which automobile maker’s programs may be most secure.

The Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration mentioned the first-of-its-kind knowledge does not but have correct context and is simply meant to be a information to rapidly determine potential defect developments and assist decide whether or not the programs are enhancing the security of automobiles.

“I might advise warning earlier than trying to attract conclusions based mostly solely on the information that we’re releasing. Actually, the information alone might elevate extra questions than they reply,” NHTSA Administrator Steven Cliff mentioned throughout a media occasion.

Based on the information, Tesla vehicles represented 273 accidents involving its superior driver-assist programs since corporations have been required to begin reporting the incidents roughly a yr in the past. That is out of 392 crashes reported total by 11 automakers and one provider from June 2021 via Might 15.

Honda was second with 90 reported accidents, adopted by Subaru at 10 and Ford Motor at 5. All different corporations reported 4 or much less accidents, together with Toyota at 4, BMW at three and General Motors at two.

The information launch is the primary for the reason that authorities started mandating in June 2021 that corporations report incidents involving “Stage 2” superior driver-assist programs, which are supposed to assist an attentive driver however not exchange them. They embody Tesla’s programs equivalent to Autopilot and GM’s Tremendous Cruise.

The programs can management a lot of a automobile’s driving capabilities equivalent to steering, lane-centering, braking and acceleration. Some automakers together with GM solely permit the programs for use on designated highways. Tesla and others permit for broader use, together with on native streets.

The information doesn’t take into context elements such because the variety of automobiles automakers have made, the variety of automobiles they’ve on the highway or the distances traveled by these automobiles. When and the way a lot knowledge corporations offered additionally varies, which means a lot of it’s incomplete.

For instance, crashes involving superior driver-assist programs have resulted in at the very least six fatalities and 5 severe accidents, in keeping with the information. Nevertheless, whether or not there have been accidents in a majority of the crashes – 294 of them – is unknown, which means there are doubtless extra.

“That is an unprecedented effort to assemble practically actual time security knowledge involving these superior applied sciences,” Cliff mentioned. “Understanding the story that the information inform will take time as most of NHTSA’s work does but it surely’s a narrative we have to hear.”


Whereas Tesla vehicles with the corporate’s “Autopilot” know-how had probably the most accidents, it is believed the corporate additionally has probably the most variety of automobiles with such programs on the highway. Its programs additionally have a tendency to supply higher capabilities and are allowed to function in additional areas than different programs.

Tesla’s programs are marketed below the model names Autopilot, Full Self Driving and Full Self Driving Beta within the U.S.

Tesla’s superstar CEO Elon Musk not too long ago on Twitter mentioned that the corporate’s newest model of FSD Beta could be rolling out to 100,000 vehicles. The corporate didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Based on the Associated Press, Tesla has extra automobiles with partly automated programs working on U.S. roads than most different automakers do — roughly 830,000, relationship to the 2014 mannequin yr. And it collects real-time knowledge on-line from automobiles, so it has a a lot sooner reporting system. That compares to GM, which has reportedly bought greater than 34,000 automobiles for the reason that debut of its “Tremendous Cruise” system in 2017.

The NHTSA has intensified its focus and investigations on Tesla due to the corporate’s aggressive growth of superior driver-assist programs, together with prototype software for Tesla owners.

In February, Tesla mentioned it would recall software from 53,822 of its Mannequin S, X, 3 and Y automobiles within the U.S. to remove a characteristic that lets vehicles robotically roll previous cease indicators. The vehicles featured a comparatively new model of the corporate’s Full Self-Driving Beta software program.

That program offers Tesla drivers early entry to new options that are not fully debugged but, together with “autosteer on metropolis streets,” which let drivers robotically navigate round complicated and crowded city environments with out shifting the steering wheel with their very own palms. Regardless of the identify, Full Self-Driving Beta doesn’t make Tesla automobiles autonomous.

Ongoing knowledge assortment

Launch of the information comes practically a yr after the NHTSA issued an order requiring automakers and operators of automobiles geared up with superior driver help or automated driving programs to right away report crashes.

NHTSA additionally launched a separate report on higher-level programs, generally known as automated driving programs, that may embody the automobiles largely driving themselves. Most of those programs are nonetheless being examined and never out there to the general public, however some corporations equivalent to Alphabet’s Waymo and GM’s majority-owned Cruise have opened operations to the general public.

NHTSA says there have been 130 reported automated driving system crashes from June 2021 to Might 15. Waymo, at 62, had probably the most. It was adopted by Transdev Various Providers at 34, and Cruise at 23 (excluding 16 crashes reported individually by GM). Twenty-five corporations reported crashes. They ranged from conventional automakers to at least one crash every from Tesla and Apple, which has reportedly been working on such a vehicle for years.

The company plans to launch knowledge updates month-to-month concerning the programs.

– CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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