Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Autopilot 2.0 Could Reduce Crash Rate By 90%

8 months ago by Steven Loveday 37

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Reveals That The Target For Autopilot 2.0 (HW2) Is A 90 Percent Crash Rate Reduction

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Reveals That The Target For Autopilot 2.0 (HW2) Is A 90 Percent Crash Rate Reduction

Now that it’s been verified that Tesla Autopilot (Autosteer, to be more precise) has thus far reduced crashes by 40 percent, CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to claim that Autopilot 2.0 (HW2) could hit a 90-percent crash reduction rate. This is Tesla’s initial target for the new software.

Tesla Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot

The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration reported – in its data from the fatal Autopilot crash investigation – that the addition of Autosteer dropped Tesla’s crash rate from 1.3 crashes per million miles, to 0.8 crashes per million miles. Musk’s new claim forecasts 0.1 to be the new figure, once HW2 matures.

After yesterday’s announcement, critics were skeptical, pointing out the fact that Autosteer was specified in the reference, rather than Autopilot as a whole. Bear in mind that Autosteer is the main factor which makes Autopilot function as it does. Also, the NHTSA only uses the Autosteer addition as a reference for the date in October of 2015, when the feature was added as an option. All other features of Autopilot were, and still are, working to make these numbers possible, prior to and since that target date.

Another point to consider is that Autosteer must be initiated by the user, for a fee, and the data doesn’t account for whether or not it was actually turned on. However, the collision warnings and emergency braking features are automatically engaged.

The new HW2 Autopilot feature, that is installed on all Tesla vehicles since October 2016, can only achieve better numbers, due to additional cameras and Tesla Vision image processing software, among a myriad of other improvements. Added to this, the update and improvement process is incremental and ongoing. Enhanced Autosteer, which is slated to update over-the-air in the coming days, is just one of many updates planned for the vehicles’ systems.

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37 responses to "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Autopilot 2.0 Could Reduce Crash Rate By 90%"

  1. Gsned57 says:

    Can’t be rolled out soon enough for all auto manufacturers. You can’t pass 10 cars on the road without seeing 5 people on the phone or doing something in addition to driving. Not to mention all the drunks and stoners on the road.

    1. Mdstj says:

      Stoners are easy to identify, they’re driving slow in the right-hand lane. 🙂

      1. John in AA says:

        That’s fine, I want to fix the ones driving slow in the left hand lane. Who’re they?

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          All joking aside, I think most of them are people who never received any formal driving instructions, so don’t know that “the rule of the road” is that slower traffic should keep right. (Except, of course, in right-hand-drive countries!)

          My mother, bless her heart, used to drive to the end of a freeway merging lane, stop, and only then start looking for a gap to merge into! Nope, no Driver’s Education course there; she had to be educated on how to merge onto a freeway by yours truly.

    2. Fabian says:

      So freaking true.

    3. Koenigsegg says:

      I never use my horn but I’ve thought about honking my horn briefly when someone is on their phone at a light and its turned green and they havent gone yet because they are looking down just to scare them.

      Everyone is fuggin zombies on the road its scary

      1. SJC says:

        Car horns are for warning others of an eminent traffic danger, not for saying “hello” nor saying “screw you”.
        Good anti collision methods CAN help reduce traffic accidents, but they are only as good as the people who use them.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Honking your horn to say “Hello! The light has turned green, please proceed!” is commonplace here in the USA. Perhaps it’s not so where you live?

          1. Nix says:

            Yup. Hard long “HHHOOONNNNKKKK!!” for danger, quick “beep beep” tap on the horn for waking people up.

  2. I am using the version 8.0
    with my tesla 2015 since 9 mounts (My new baby)

    Yes I agree reducing by 90% because the autopilot is training me now (I am better than 9 month ago because the autopilot is watching every thing I do.
    (But please don’t tell that to my wife)
    My boy is 12 years old and in five year the autopilot will have a training mode an my boy will have to graduate from the training software before having the full autopilot version

    In the future ……Yes baby you coud drive my car ……..but you will have to graduate from the training software

    1. ffbj says:

      So then you could a “Baby (only) on Board” sign in your window?

      1. ‘Caution, Baby Driving’ sign!

    2. Koenigsegg says:

      I feel sorry for your kid

    3. James says:

      Dude you really shouldn’t drive a car if you need to be trained by a buggy piece of sotware, especially with your boy sitting in the car

      1. Roy_H says:

        These negative comments are completely not warranted. I am sure Daniel is a competent driver and he is not “learning from AP” rules of the road, but because he is conscious of the software learning from him, he wants to set a good example. I.E. following the correct curve turning a street corner to end up precisely centered in the closest lane instead of sloppily weaving over to the next lane even when there is no traffic there.

  3. Mdstj says:

    This technology will be great for the special-needs people and the elderly people. It will give many freedom that they thought they would never have.

    1. And for the always connected, tech savy, reality challenged, two thumbs typing, kids and adults!

      1. Koenigsegg says:

        No. A competent driver is always connected to the road by being in the present moment. Constantly being consciously aware of your surroundings, Visually scanning the roads and your mirrors with your eyes, not relying on technology gimmicks which make you rely less on your natural abilities thus your natural abilities becoming less sharp.

        The only thing a competent driver needs is a steering wheel.

        All these auto drive features are for the specially challenged.

        My Volt has ZERO “safety” features.

        I am the safety feature in every car I drive.

        1. ffbj says:

          Various studies show that people are hardly even conscious when they are driving. In fact they’re, about 65% of the time, on a sort of an internal subconscious autopilot themselves.
          That’s for highway driving not stop and go city traffic.

        2. Some Guy says:

          “The only thing a competent driver needs is a steering wheel.”
          With that, you can sit in your lawn chair and make “wromm, wromm” noises, and you will probably never be in an accident. I prefer to have other things as well, starting with brakes and safety features, as there are too many self-appointed “competent drivers” on today’s roads…

        3. Nix says:

          “All these auto drive features are for the specially challenged. ”

          That describes 4 out of every 5 drivers around here….

          1. Nix says:

            And by “here” I mean the streets in my city (just to be clear).

            1. przemo_li says:

              People like to think about themselfs “above average”.

              How good citizen are You?
              “Above average”

              How good father are You?
              “Above average”

              How good driver are You?
              “Above…”

              Emergency braking, lane change assist, emergency acceleration, pedestrian detection, bicyclist detection all should come standard, and mandatory.

              In a few years.
              So far it seam only Tesla have it right.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Another point to consider is that Autosteer must be initiated by the user, for a fee, and the data doesn’t account for whether or not it was actually turned on.”

    Precisely: Merely installing Autopilot/AutoSteer has reduced crash rate by nearly 40%! That means the actual reduction in rash rate when AutoSteer is activated, is even lower!

    This was immediately obvious to me in the previous announcement on this subject. I guess I should have pointed it out in my comments.

    Logic FTW! 🙂

    Go Tesla!

  5. ANewHope says:

    I’m not sure people fully realize what 90% reduction in crash rate means if it comes true. It means if it was 100 crashes before, now it is 10 crashes, that is 90% reduction. This means human driver crash rate would be 10x higher than autopilot. Which logically would mean 10x higher insurance if you want to drive yourself instead of letting the car drive itself. Who knows maybe even more than 10x due to punitive damages since you were reckless enough to drive yourself instead of letting autopilot do its thing.

    It might reach a point where due to cost and or laws, humans might not be driving themselves on public roads.

    1. przemo_li says:

      Not with current setup.

      It’s still relying on Human Driver oversight. Insurance companies would not be able to formulate any statistically sound solutions here.

      But when Autopilot can drive all the highways? That’s easy to introduce into insurance rates.
      Same if it was working on all roads, period.

      1. ANewHope says:

        Not sure why you think it can’t be done. Insurers currently can give you discounts on insurance based on how you drive as they know certain driving styles result in certain risks. They do this with a dongle attached to obd2 port or app you download to your phone. eg risk factors, time of day you drive (rush hours or night), hard braking, hard accelaration, speeding… I don’t see why they won’t be able to add, did you drive yourself? Just need that info from the car, which probably could be provided via obd2.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “It might reach a point where due to cost and or laws, humans might not be driving themselves on public roads.”

      Exactly. I think it will indeed come to the point that laws will prohibit human drivers on most if not all public roads in first-world countries. In fact, it’s hard to see how this would not happen, because human drivers will come to be seen as a deadly danger to everyone on the road.

      But not soon. That can’t happen until nearly all of the non-autonomous cars have aged out of the system in those countries. That will take about 15 years after the date on which all new cars sold will be autonomous — and there will be laws to force that happening, too.

      Just as there are now riding trails for those who want to ride horses for pleasure, in the future there will be “driving roads” for those who want to drive automobiles for pleasure.

  6. James says:

    Dude before you make any promises first reduce the crashes caused by the autopilot by 90%

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      By that argument, everybody should shut off their air bags because a few have exploded and caused serious injury or death.

      Nope. You’re still far safer with them than without them.

  7. William Celli says:

    Sorry to waist everyone’s time, but what does HW2 stand for?

    1. BenG says:

      HW2 = second generation Autopilot hardware, if I’m not mistaken

    2. Roy_H says:

      Yes, HardWare 2, installed in all Tesla cars since October 2016. This package of cameras, radar, auto-steering brakes and power, and of course high power computer to manage it all is an expensive and impressive addition to the cars. Tesla is the only company in the world that would even consider implementing this in all cars instead of only as a $5k option. Now I believe Tesla charges about $5k to activate it, but this decision can be put off by the owner, even the 2nd owner. It is a brilliant move by Tesla to both enhance the re-sale value of the cars and improve safety. Tesla really is doing all it can for the customer, even when it means reduced profit for the company.

      1. SilveradoCyn says:

        Roy,
        Does this mean that the system is licensed to the first owner for $5K, and the second owner will also have to pay Tesla $5K? Or is it a one time activation?

  8. Doggydogworld says:

    Can anyone get the link to the actual NTHSA report to work? I’ve tried several times. I it doesn’t say 40% fewer accidents with AutoSteer. 40% fewer with the entire autopilot package (Autosteer AEB, etc.) makes more sense.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Here is the gist of the e-mail I sent Jay Cole the other day, altho it turned out InsideEVs had already published an article on the subject:

      * * * * *

      Credit to ffbj for posting this news in an InsideEVs comment.

      Here is the link to the NHTSA document:

      https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/inv/2016/INCLA-PE16007-7876.PDF

      The relevant text is in section 5.4:

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ODI analyzed mileage and airbag deployment data supplied by Tesla for all MY 2014 through 2016 Model S and 2016 Model X vehicles equipped with the Autopilot Technology Package, either installed in the vehicle when sold or through an OTA update, to calculate crash rates by miles travelled prior to and after Autopilot installation. Figure 11 shows the rates calculated by ODI for airbag deployment crashes in the subject Tesla vehicles before and after Autosteer installation. The data show that the Tesla vehicles crash rate dropped by almost 40 percent after Autosteer installation.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      [end quote]

      ODI = Office of Defects Investigation

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        Thanks. Although the chart says Autosteer the text indicates it’s the entire Autopilot package. AEB has a big effect on airbag deployment rate.