Tesla Autopilot prevents about 40 crashes per day that are allegedly caused by Sudden Accidental Acceleration (SUA). This news comes from Tesla’s Autopilot Software Director, Ashok Elluswamy, who shared the news during his workshop at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) in New Orleans earlier this summer. He later published the workshop on YouTube and shared it on Twitter.
These predictions are already being used to avoid many collisions. For example, Autopilot prevents ~40 crashes/day where human drivers accidentally press the accelerator pedal at 100% instead of the brakes. In the video, Autopilot brakes automatically, sparing this person’s legs (7/12) pic.twitter.com/XtMssPT9cM
— Ashok Elluswamy (@aelluswamy) August 21, 2022
In the video, Ashok discusses how Autopilot can avoid collisions and highlights some of the safety features Autopilot has.
“Here I show a certain failure of people, where they accidentally press the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. For example, these people step on the accelerator and think they are pressing the brake pedal. But the car realizes they are doing this and is headed for a collision and automatically disengages acceleration and applies the brakes to prevent the people from colliding.”
Ashok explained that this particular driver would have launched their car into a river if Autopilot had not rescued them. He shared another video of a person trying to park, but they pressed the accelerator instead of the brake. Tesla Autopilot prevented her from crashing into the shop window and the pedestrian going inside.
While Autopilot is saving many people, Ashok stressed that there are still more collisions to be avoided. He shared instances where drivers would misapply the pedals and be saved by Autopilot. In one video, the driver’s decision to shift gears and reverse at full speed caused them to hit the garage.
“While that’s incredibly sad, I’m glad no one was hurt in this accident, but it’s kind of pointless to collide when we have a great system that can detect common obstacles,” he said.
Ashok also pointed out the three things a self-driving car needs: safe, comfortable and reasonably fast. You can watch the full workshop in the video below.
Note: Johnna is a Tesla shareholder and supports its mission.