CEO Elon Musk claims media reports cause temporary dips in Autopilot engagement, making it "dangerous for customers."
Tesla chief Elon Musk has promised to begin releasing quarterly Autopilot safety reports to counter sensational media reports.
The company has tracked a growing increase in Autopilot usage over time, except for brief dips that coincide with negative news.
"People are reading things in the press that causes them to use Autopilot less," Musk told analysts during Tesla's Q1 conference call. "And then that makes it dangerous for our customers, and that's not cool."
The executive suggests media reports have perpetuated a misconception that Tesla has misled drivers into believing the semi-autonomous system is capable of fully self-driving operation.
"It is the opposite case," Musk argues. "When there is a serious accident, almost always, in fact maybe always, the case is that it is an experienced user, and the issue is more one of complacency ... It's thinking they know more about Autopilot than they do."
The quarterly reports are intended to provide a more objective measure of Autopilot safety, providing statistics to counter any future negative media reports.
"The statistics are unequivocal that autopilot improves safety," Musk says. "No question."