The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is expected to release a report this week that will single out Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving software, but there may be a catch.
According to the Associated Press, the NHTSA will report figures it has been compiling for over one year on collisions involving vehicles with autonomous or partially automated driving systems, noting that Tesla will account for a disproportionately high number of crashes involving autonomous or partially autonomous driving systems. This conclusion is based on data provided to them by automakers ahead of the release of the NHTSA report.
However, as many users on social media are pointing out, the NHTSA may be using the wrong metrics.
It appears as though the NHTSA report will look at “crashes per vehicle” with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Which comparing models, it is obvious that Tesla would stand out as they have 10x or more vehicles with ADAS compared to any other automaker in North America, and their ADAS systems works on virtually any highway or road in North America.
If the NHTSA were to use a proper metric, it would be crash per thousand, or hundred thousand, or even one million miles driven.
It is unclear whether it was an issue around the data the other car makers provided or if the NHTSA purposely chose this number.
One issue could be that other car makers do not have access to the same immediate access to data that Tesla does with crashes and other incidents thanks to the connected nature of their vehicles.
We will have to wait until the NHTSA releases the report to see exactly how they arrived at their figures, but based on what is expected, Tesla won’t look good to those who don’t take a closer look at the data behind the figures.
NHTSA Safety Advisor Dr. Mary “Missy” Cummings ordered to recuse herself from any matters relating to Tesla