One of the peculiar things about electric car maker Tesla is that the company spends no money on advertising. Happy customers deliver a lot of word-of-mouth marketing for the company, and now even the US government is inadvertently doing some marketing for Tesla as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that crash rates of Tesla vehicles dropped significantly after the introduction of the Autopilot feature.
NHTSA found that the number of crashes dropped by almost 40 percent since Tesla added semi-autonomous features in its vehicles in 2015. Before Autosteer, Tesla car drivers had a crash rate of 1.3 per million miles, whereas after Autosteer the rate fell to 0.8 per million miles.
The government concluded that while advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) like Autopilot may help in reducing auto accidents, they should not supplement or replace a driver’s attention to the road. “While ADAS technologies are continually improving in performance in larger percentages of crash types, a driver should never wait for automatic braking to occur when a collision threat is perceived,” the NHTSA said.