Elon Musk have to be feeling fairly happy proper about now.

A protracted-awaited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration review of a deadly accident that occurred in Could 2016 has concluded the driving force’s Tesla Model S, which was in self-driving “Autopilot” mode on the time of the crash, was not faulty. As such, the federal company is not going to search a recall of Tesla automobiles.

And in what’s certainly a rarity, reasonably than harm the case for Autopilot, the information NHTSA pulled from Tesla really makes a fairly compelling argument in its favor.

Statistically, the federal government company discovered Teslas (each Mannequin S and Mannequin X) with the Autopilot put in crashed about 40 p.c much less usually than their purely human-driven counterparts.


Tesla Mannequin S and Mannequin X automobiles each present dramatically lowered crash charges after Autosteer is put in. 

The “Workplace of Defects Investigation (ODI) analyzed mileage and airbag deployment information provided by Tesla for all [model years] 2014 by 2016 Mannequin S and 2016 Mannequin X automobiles geared up with the Autopilot Know-how Bundle, both put in within the automobile when offered or by an replace, to calculate crash charges by miles travelled previous to and after Autopilot set up,” NHTSA said in its report, explaining its methodology.

“The info present that the Tesla automobiles crash price dropped by nearly 40 p.c after Autosteer set up.”

Autosteer is the primary part of Autopilot; it retains a automobile in its lane and maintains its velocity in relation to surrounding visitors. Autopilot additionally consists of parking help features.

Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

A driver demonstrates Autopilot options in a Tesla Mannequin S in Palo Alto, California, in 2015.

NHTSA hastened so as to add that each one duty in the end falls on the driving force, Autopilot or no.

Within the case of the Could 2016 crash, as an example, NHTSA concluded driver Joshua Brown was at fault. He’d set the Mannequin S on Autopilot at 74 mph lower than two minutes earlier than the accident and took no evasive measures as he neared influence with the tractor-trailer. 

Brown “ought to have been in a position to take some motion earlier than the crash, like braking, steering or trying to keep away from the automobile,” the report discovered. “He took none of these actions.”

Tesla ― and all automakers developing self-driving vehicles ― have to be upfront in regards to the limitations of their expertise, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx informed Reuters on Thursday, in order that drivers aren’t lulled right into a false sense of safety.

The automaker acknowledged NHTSA’s findings with a short statement:

“At Tesla, the security of our prospects comes first, and we admire the thoroughness of NHTSA’s report and its conclusion.” 

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