The semi-autonomous Autopilot feature in Tesla’s electric cars reduces the chance of an accident by 50 per cent, according to Elon Musk.
Speaking at an energy conference in Oslo, Norway last week, the firm’s chief executive presented data showing it took drivers twice as long to have an accident when using the feature.
He said (via Electrek): “The probability of having an accident is 50% lower if you have Autopilot on. Even with our first version.
“So we can see basically what’s the average number of kilometers to an accident – accident defined by airbag deployment. Even with this early version, it’s almost twice as good as a person.”
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Autopilot was launched back in October 2015 and drivers have already racked up 47 million miles using the feature, which assists with parking, steering and changing lanes on a motorway and adjusting speeds in traffic.
Musk, who unveiled the affordable Tesla Model 3 to great acclaim last month, thinks the data will be crucial to proving the safety of full autonomous vehicles in the future.
He added: “I think it’s going to be important in term of satisfying regulators and the public to show statistically with a large amount of data – with billions of kilometers of driving – to say that the safety level is definitively better, by a meaningful margin, if it’s autonomous versus non-autonomous.”
Right now the data sample isn’t quite at that level, but adoption of Telsa vehicles is set to skyrocket following the release of the Model 3 at the end of next year.
The company also wants to launch its fully autonomous Autopilot system within two years.