Recently released data shows that Tesla vehicles were able to reduce car crashes by 40%. Following the revelation, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has promised that the second generation software that has already been released will further reduce the rate of crashes up to 90%.
This means that if, theoretically, everyone used a Tesla, the number of accidents would drop from 1.3 million per million miles to just 130,000 accidents annually. This is still a big number, but greatly reduced. According to Tesla, the auto-pilot driving system will beat any other safety program currently on the market.
The new equipment was rolled out in October 2016, and includes sensors, as well as new software that will greatly enhance the current hardware. A few weeks ago, an enhanced version of the software was being uploaded and made operational in cars.
Although the company remained tight-lipped on how much the software will reduce crashes, Musk assured that the difference would be significant. Elon has not only revolutionized the tech world, but he aims to save lives while at it.
“Our target is a 90 percent reduction [in crashes] as the software matures,” he posted on Twitter.
As it stands, there were 1.3 crashes per million miles before Tesla’s Autopilot Autosteer features down from 0.8 accidents per million miles after the Autosteer. As a matter of fact, there was only 1 fatality in just over 130 million miles driven with the Autopilot feature activated back in 2016.
The 40% reduction was confirmed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA). The target now with the new software, is to hit lows of 0.1 crashes per million miles. This is after the release of what Tesla is calling the Enhanced Autosteer.
“The crash rates are for all miles traveled before and after Autopilot installation and are not limited to, actual Autopilot use,” NHTSA noted in its report.
The Auto steer feature is in addition to Tesla’s other safety features that were there before and does not overrule them. This includes the Automatic Emergency Braking and Collision warnings.
Of course there is criticism with anything
Critics in the motor industry have pointed out that Tesla is promising too much, just by the use of the term ‘Autopilot,’ saying it gives the impression that the car can control itself.
Tesla was quick to set the record straight by admitting that the system is not autonomous yet, and should be taken as a driver assisting package feature in areas such as emergency collision avoidance, active cruise control, and lane keeping.
Tesla’s autopilot means more cameras
With the one forward-facing camera, one forward-facing radar, and all-around ultrasonic sensors that were available in the first software package, Tesla managed to accumulate 1.3 billion miles of data.
This data went a long way in attaining the 40% crash reduction. The second generation of software that is currently in use was developed from that data and now features more cameras, including a triple front-facing camera setup, and an onboard supercomputer that will support Tesla Vision, which is Tesla’s new image processing system.
This new technology is what Tesla hopes will give us the 90% drop in crashes, and they have not ruled out the possibility of improving things even further.