Tesla vehicles running its Autopilot software have been involved in 273 reported crashes over roughly the past year, according to regulators, far more than previously known and providing concrete evidence regarding the real-world performance of its futuristic features.
The numbers, which were published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the first time Wednesday, show that Tesla vehicles made up nearly 70 percent of the 392 crashes involving advanced driver-assistance systems reported since last July, and a majority of the fatalities and serious injuries — some of which date back further than a year. Eight of the Tesla crashes took place before June 2021, according to data released by NHTSA on Wednesday morning.
Previously, NHTSA said it had probed 42 crashes potentially involving driver assistance, 35 of which included Tesla vehicles, in a more limited data set that stretched back to 2016.
Of the six fatalities listed in the data set published Wednesday, five were tied to Tesla vehicles — including a July 2021 crash involving a pedestrian in Flushing, Queens, and a fatal crash in March in Castro Valley, Calif. Some dated as far back as 2019.
Author(s): Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman and Jeremy B. Merrill
Tesla is looking to expand its auto insurance offering into two more states: Oregon and Virginia.
The electric vehicle manufacturer currently offers insurance products in Arizona, California, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas – where Tesla first launched its pilot insurance program which tracks policyholders’ driving behavior to set rates.
The “safety scores” generated by Tesla’s onboard telematics systems in its vehicles are available for drivers to view and use in insurance rate setting in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio and Texas – California regulations have not yet permitted the use of telematics data in insurance. Tesla claims that drivers with high safety scores can save 20% to 60% on their insurance costs.
Tesla Inc. is readying a major upgrade of its driver-assistance software but the top federal crash investigator says the move might be premature.
Chief Executive Elon Musk said last week that drivers would soon be able to request an enhanced version of what Tesla calls its “Full Self-Driving Capability.” The upgrade is expected to add a feature intended to help vehicles navigate cities, expanding the suite of driver-assistance tools that had been designed mainly for highways.
Despite its name, Full Self-Driving doesn’t make cars fully autonomous, and Tesla instructs drivers to remain alert, with their hands on the wheel.
Jennifer Homendy, the new head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Tesla shouldn’t roll out the city-driving tool before addressing what the agency views as safety deficiencies in the company’s technology. The NTSB, which investigates crashes and issues safety recommendations though it has no regulatory authority, has urged Tesla to clamp down on how drivers are able to use the company’s driver-assistance tools.
Since that experiment, have you seen this phenomenon replicated in the real world?
Every time I see a Tesla accident. Especially the earlier ones. I was like, “Yep, there it is.” People are trusting these systems too much. And I remember after the very first one, what did they do? They were like, now you’re required to hold the steering wheel for something like five-second increments. If you don’t have your hand on the wheel, the system will deactivate.
But, you know, they never came and talked to me or my group, because that’s not going to work. And why that doesn’t work is because it’s very easy to game the system. If you’re looking at your cell phone and then you hear the beep, you just put your hand up, right? It’s subconscious. You’re still not paying attention. And it’s because you think the system’s okay and that you can still do whatever it was you were doing—reading a book, watching TV, or looking at your phone. So it doesn’t work because they did not increase the level of risk or uncertainty, or disbelief, or mistrust. They didn’t increase that enough for someone to re-engage.
Bitcoin topped $50,000 for the first time Tuesday, doubling in value in less than two months.
The digital currency traded as high as $50,584.85, before closing at $48,642.45, according to CoinDesk, up 0.95% for the day and 68% for the year, with a total market value in circulation close to $909 billion.
The $50,000 level is an “emotional level for people in the space,” said Brian Melville, head of strategy at trading firm Cumberland. But it is also a simple result of supply and demand, he added.
From August through December, about 150,000 new bitcoins were minted, he estimated. The firm calculated that about 359,000 bitcoins were bought in the same period, and that imbalance has continued in 2021. “It’s a really important metric to watch,” he added.