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Tesla cars are involved in 70 percent of accidents involving driver assistance in the US

Tesla cars are involved in 70 percent of accidents involving driver assistance in the US
Written by insideindyhomes

Almost 400 accidents involving vehicles with activated driver assistance systems have been reported to the US traffic safety agency NHTSA since July 2021 – 70 percent of them are attributable to Tesla. Elon Musk’s electric car company was involved in by far the most accidents in this category (273), followed far behind by Honda with 90 accidents. Of the six fatalities, five were related to a Tesla.

Because data collection is not standardized, the figures are only comparable to a limited extent. The fact that Tesla is so far ahead is probably due to the fact that the company has sold hundreds of thousands of vehicles with the “Autopilot” system. But the competition also has driving assistants that keep them on track.

The data collection is based on an order from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which required accidents involving driver assistance systems to be reported. This is to determine their safety. The authority has subdivided the figures now presented – all accidents involving level 2 assistants are collected in the larger dataset, while accidents involving test vehicles at levels 3 to 5 have their own report.

The latter is not yet available in the USA, and Mercedes was the first car manufacturer to announce the sale of a Level 3 assistance system. The person at the wheel can use this to temporarily hand over responsibility in a precisely described scenario. With the other systems, you have to be able to take control at any time.

(Image: NHTSA)

The data on accidents involving Level 2 systems also shows that in most accidents with them no information is known about possible injuries to people. The object with which the vehicles collided is also unknown in 146 cases, followed by fixed objects (78) and other vehicles, primarily cars. More than a third of the accidents occurred in the most populous US state of California. It is also striking that the vehicles were mostly (in 124 cases) damaged at the front, so the vehicles presumably hit something.

In the case of accidents with (partly) autonomous cars (levels 3 to 5), however, the situation is different, here damage to the rear dominates. By far the most accidents here can be traced back to the test vehicles of the Alphabet subsidiary Waymo (62), ahead of Transdev (34) and Cruise (23). In one case there were serious injuries in this category, but in the vast majority of cases no injuries were reported at all. Other cars were involved in more than half of the accidents involving (partially) autonomous vehicles. A total of 130 are listed.

Even if the datasets are not comprehensive, they are important for road safety, explains the NHTSA. This gives you an overview of the accidents in which a driver assistance system was active in the 30 seconds before the crash. Because the data cannot be compared with the total kilometers driven, they do not allow comparisons between the manufacturers, the authority explains.

The publication of the data is part of the self-commitment to transparency, adds Steven Cliff. The data would allow NHTSA to identify emerging risks early and learn more about how these technologies work in the real world. For example, it turns out that vehicles equipped with telematics technology would deliver robust data more quickly.


(mho)

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