Tesla Inc.’s TSLA full-self-driving software suite has been the subject of widespread criticism over its safety but at least one analyst is positive about it.
What Happened: The accident rate of the FSD system disclosed by Tesla on its Investor Day showed that there has been an average of one accident per 3.2 million miles, Ark Invest analyst Tasha Keeney said in the firm’s weekly innovation newsletter.
This compares to the nationwide average of one accident for about 500,000 miles, she noted.
The data pertains to the period before the v11.3 update when the FSD beta software stack applied to only surface or city streets, which are prone to more accidents than the highways, Keeney said. City streets represented about 30% of miles driven but accounted for 75% of crashes, she noted.
The Ark Invest analyst also noted that the national average included older cars that do not have active safety features like emergency braking which now comes standard with all new U.S. cars.
FSD Vs. Manually-Driven Tesla: Providing an apples-to-apples comparison between a Tesla vehicle equipped with FSD and a manually-driven, or old-line Tesla, Keeney said the former appeared to be five times safer than the latter. She clarified that the data has been adjusted to surface street-specific accident rates compared to the non-Autopilot accident rate in Tesla’s safety report.
The relative safety of an FSD-equipped Tesla is about 18 times better than the average car in the U.S., she added.
Source: Ark Invest
Tesla’s FSD, which costs $15,000 and has a $199 monthly subscription fee, is still in the advanced beta testing phase. Although CEO Elon Musk claims that the autonomous driving software targets achieving Level 4 or 5 autonomy, skeptics say it hasn’t graduated to Level 3 autonomy.
In mid-February, the company voluntarily recalled 362,758 vehicles on the grounds that the FSD in these vehicles may cause crashes by allowing them to act unsafe around intersections.
Price Action: Tesla closed Monday’s session up 0.60% at $174.48, according to Benzinga Pro data.
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