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Tesla's Q4 safety report shows slight increase in Autopilot accident rate

by Justin King

The company registered one accident for every 2.91 million miles driven with Autopilot engaged.

Tesla has released its second quarterly safety report, logging the number of accidents registered with and without Autopilot engaged.

In the last three months of 2018, the company registered one accident for every 2.91 million miles driven with Autopilot activated. The figure represents a slight increase from Q3's rate of one accident every 3.34 million miles.

Without Autopilot engaged, the numbers also raised from one every 1.92 million miles in Q3 to an incident every 1.58 million miles in Q4.

"By comparison, NHTSA's most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 436,000 miles," the company says.

To be clear, Tesla's own statistics are based on confirmed accidents and "crash-like events" registered by vehicle sensors. The numbers are not an apples-to-apples comparison with NHTSA's data. The greater importance in Tesla's quarterly reports will arguably become apparent as the company continues to improve its Autopilot technology, serving as a standard method for demonstrating safety improvement over time.