Last week, Bloomberg released their survey results from 5,000 Tesla owners on Quality and Reliability and Service and Charging. Today they released the results of their third instalment about perhaps Tesla’s most controversial feature, Autopilot.
Often criticized in the media and social media as being dangerous and not ready for the road, Tesla’s Autopilot software tells a different story when looking at the stats. Based on numbers released during the Q3 2019 earnings call, Autopilot statistics show that there is just one accident or crash-like event for nearly every 7,000,000km. This equates to a 1,500,000km increase from the previous record from Q3 2018, just one year ago.
Bloomberg’s survey of Tesla owners found similar results. Just six respondents out of the 5,000 said that Autopilot actually contributed to causing an accident. Without video footage or access to the vehicle’s computers to know exactly what was going on at the time of the accident, it is impossible to know if that was actually the case. But even assuming it was, the finding that just 0.12% of respondents thought that it caused an accident is impressive enough.
Despite what many people choose to believe about Autopilot, 90% of owners reported that they felt safer with Autopilot engaged. To add to that, 28% of respondents said Autopilot had saved them from a dangerous situation. Even though some people said there were instances where they felt Autopilot put them in a dangerous situation, they still felt safer overall having Autopilot, than not.
Another common theme amongst the responses from the survey was that there were numerous instances where Autopilot was able to react quicker than the human driver.
“The car detected a pile-up in fog and applied the brakes/alerted driver and began a lane change to avoid it before I took over. I believe it saved my life.”
“A deer jumped in front of me on a dark road at night. By the time my foot moved to the brake pedal, it was already pressed to the floor!”
Even though the survey took place before Smart Summon was released to owners with the V10 software update, Bloomberg did send a follow-up survey to get feedback on how the new feature was performing.
Not surprisingly, 70% of owners surveyed found that Smart Summon was a useful feature, but 41% of those also said it wasn’t reliable enough for the average driver. While this may be true, and there were some close calls and apparent accidents while using Smart Summon, there were also many instances of Smart Summon performing flawlessly.
You can read the full results at Bloomberg.