Tesla Autopilot-01

Tesla’s Autopilot system halves the probability of an accident happening, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during an interview with Norway’s minister of transport and communications, Ketil Solvik-Olsen, as reported by Electrek. Autopilot was first launched in the Model S and subsequently in the Model X and the Model 3.

“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 kilometres to an accident – accident defined by airbag deployment. Even with this early version, it’s almost twice as good as a person,” Musk said, referring to the first version of the system.

The second-generation of the Autopilot function is expected to be fully autonomous and very much safer as it will be tested by regulators before it can be made road-legal. The CEO expects the second-generation Autopilot system to be ready in the next two years.

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“I think it’s going to be important in term of satisfying regulators and the public to show statistically with a large amount of data – with billions of kilometres of driving – to say that the safety level is definitively better, by a meaningful margin, if it’s autonomous versus non-autonomous,” Musk said.

Meanwhile, Tesla said that its customers have driven over 75 million km on Autopilot since it was officially launched in October 2015. With more Tesla vehicles hitting the road, the data will grow rapidly.

While Musk isn’t sure as to how long the regulatory process will take, he’s confident that the data will be able to satisfy regulators, seeing that data obtained from the first-generation system has been positive, so far.