Image: Ark Invest
After analyzing Tesla's accident data, ARK Invest analyst Tasha Keeney concluded that Full Self-Driving (FSD) is 5X safer than driving old line Teslas and 18X safer than the average car in the US.
One of Tesla's main areas of development is the creation of better electric vehicles equipped with a self-driving function. That is why the company is working on Autopilot, which will be able to independently drive Tesla cars, delivering them to any place chosen by the owners. In addition, self-driving cars, instead of being idle in parking lots when their owners are at home, at work, or on vacation, could become robotaxis that would bring money to their owners by transporting passengers on their own.
In an effort to achieve this, Tesla is now actively working on FSD Beta. As of today, the company has tens of thousands of testers around the world, although they are mostly located in the US and Canada. In order to monitor the safety of its driver assistance systems, Tesla constantly monitors all of its vehicles, recording accidents. At Investor Day, Tesla revealed for the first time the crash rate of its FSD system, and the data was impressive. ARK Invest has published its view on the information provided by the company.
According to the data, Tesla recorded one accident with activated FSD for every 3.2 million miles. That is more than six times safer than the national average for other vehicles, with one accident recorded every ~500,000 miles. Until its recent update, V11.3, the FSD beta software stack applied only to surface, or city streets. It is worth bearing in mind that surface streets have a higher accident rate than highways as they account for ~30% of miles traveled but 75% of accidents. In addition, Tesla's national average includes older vehicles from the company that lack active safety features such as emergency braking (AEB) that are now standard on all new vehicles in the US.
ARK Invest writes that in an “apples-to-apples comparison,” with all the data available, FSD-driven vehicles appear to be about 5 times safer than manual-driven Tesla vehicles and 18 times safer than the average US car.
“To evaluate the incremental safety of FSD, an apples-to-apples comparison would be against a manually driven Tesla. Adjusting to surface street specific accident rates, compared to the “non-Autopilot” accident rate in Tesla's safety report, FSD-equipped cars appear to be ~5X safer than manually driven Tesla cars and 18X safer than the average car in the US.”
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.