Tesla Autosteer Cut Accident Rates By 40% [Update: Maybe The Opposite!]

[Update: On Twitter, Michael DeKort points to an Ed Niedermeyer story in The Drive that suggests NHTSA’s data and analysis were flawed and Tesla Autosteer may actually have increased accidents.]

Yesterday I wrote that 2020 traffic deaths showed a big increase over previous years, probably due to distracted driver (cell phones). At the end of the post, I wondered whether advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are helping or hurting this situation.

I did some very light Internet searching today, and the most information I could find is this NHTSA report from 2016, which states:

“The data show that the Tesla vehicles crash rate dropped by almost 40 percent after Autosteer installation.”

In addition to this, I found some sporadic reports of Autopilot-related insurance discounts from Tesla owners and small insurance companies.

This isn’t a lot to go on — the data are dated (I forgot that “Autosteer” was a feature name), and mentioned off-hand in a NHTSA report that is really about AEB deployment. More importantly, there’s no data for ADAS options other than Tesla. Tesla is a small and controversial portion of the ADAS market.

But it’s the data I found so far.

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