Tesla Autopilot Involved In 736 Accidents And 17 Fatalities Since 2019 As Deployments Widen: Report

Zinger Key Points
  • Elon Musk’s decisions to go for a wider FSB rollout may have led to increased accidents, says former NHTSA advisor.
  • NHSTA is of the view that state laws should hold human drivers responsible for the operation of their vehicles.

Tesla, Inc.'s TSLA advanced driver assistance system, Autopilot, has been under scrutiny for its safety and a new report suggests the use of Autopilot mode has resulted in increased deaths and serious injuries.

What Happened: Tesla's Autopilot has led to 736 crashes and 17 deaths in the U.S. since 2019, the Washington Post reported, citing its analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

The fatality count of 17 reportedly marked a significant increase from the number disclosed by authorities in a June 2022 report. Giving a partial accounting of accidents that involved Tesla vehicles driven on Autopilot mode, authorities said in 2022 that only three deaths were definitely linked to the technology.

The recent data showed that 11 of the 17 fatal accidents happened since last May, the Post reported.

Out of the 17 fatal crashes, four involved a motorcycle and another involved an emergency vehicle, the report said. Some of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's decisions, including the wider expansion of the availability of the features and the removal of radar sensors, may have led to the surge in the accidents, experts said, according to Post.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Autopilot On NHTSA's Radar: The federal agency's spokesperson Veronica Morales reportedly told the Post that there is an ongoing investigation into the Tesla Autopilot, including the company's full-self driving features.

All advanced driver assistance systems require the "human driver to be in control and fully engaged in the driving task all the times," Morales reportedly said. She also suggested that state laws should hold human drivers responsible for the operation of their vehicles.

Concurring that Tesla is having more severe and fatal crashes than people in a normal data set, Former NHTSA senior safety adviser Missy Cummings said one likely cause was the expanded rollout of FSD over the past year and a half.

The NHTSA's data includes some incidents where it is "unknown" whether Autopilot or Full Self-Driving was in use, the Post said.

Tesla closed Friday’s session up 4.06% at $244.40, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Read Next: Is Tesla Analyst’s Prediction Of Surge To $300 Becoming A Reality? Stock Not Losing Steam After 11-Session Winning Run

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