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Tesla tops US government’s driver-assist crash data report - The Verge

Tesla tops US government’s driver-assist crash data report - The Verge

Federal regulators released new data on crashes involving autonomous vehicles and vehicles equipped with driver-assist technology. Tesla and Waymo, which have the most vehicles and drive the most miles, top the list.

The federal government released two new reports highlighting — for the first time — crashes and fatalities involving autonomous vehicles (AV) and vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS). Tesla reported the most crashes involving driver-assist technology, while Alphabet’s Waymo disclosed the most incidents involving its autonomous vehicles.

Car and tech companies insist these technologies save lives, but more people died in auto crashes last year than in the last three decades. More data is needed to accurately determine whether these new systems are making roads safer or simply making driving more convenient.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a standing general order last year requiring car companies to report crashes involving AVs as well as Level 2 driver-assist systems found in hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the road today.

At Level 2, the vehicle can control steering and acceleration and deceleration, but it falls short of full autonomy because a human sits in the driver’s seat and can take control of the car at any time. Levels 3–5 refer to autonomous vehicles that control all the driving under specific conditions or, in the case of Level 5, under any conditions. (Notably, there are no Level 5 vehicles in existence today.) More than 100 companies were subject to the new reporting requirements, including Tesla, Ford, and GM as well as AV operators like Waymo and Cruise.

To be sure, the data is limited, lacking key details like the number of vehicles manufactured, the number of vehicles in operation, and the distances traveled by those vehicles. Companies may rely on different criteria when reporting incidents. For example, some automakers receive crash reports through vehicle telematics, while other companies must rely on unverified customer claims.

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