Dozens of YouTube videos have already shown us the potential of Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot feature, but according to Elon Musk, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. Electrek reports that Musk told an audience last week during a talk in Norway that early data from Autopilot shows that drivers are significantly safer in their cars when the feature is activated.
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This is the full quote from Musk’s talk:
“The probability of having an accident is 50% lower if you have Autopilot on. Even with our first version. So we can see basically what’s the average number of kilometers to an accident – accident defined by airbag deployment. Even with this early version, it’s almost twice as good as a person.”
That’s a bold claim for prototype software, but he only sees the safety benefits becoming more pronounced as the technology continues to improve.
After all, regulators will need to be shown a great deal of data before they are comfortable allowing Tesla to add a fully autonomous Autopilot mode to its cars, which is exactly what Musk is proposing for the second generation of the feature.
Unfortunately, we’re probably still a couple of years out from the next major update for Autopilot, but looking at some of the additions Musk and his team plan to make, it’s hard not to get excited about the future of autonomous driving.