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You've probably seen the videos of Tesla's autopilot system saving drivers from crashes, but just how safe does having the software installed in your car make it? According to Elon Musk, Tesla's studies have shown that the autopilot system decreases the amount of roadway crashes by 50 percent. According to Electrek, Musk said this while at a government conference in Norway last month:
“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 kilometers to an accident – accident defined by airbag deployment. Even with this early version, it’s almost twice as good as a person.”
While data like this isn't completely unexpected, a number boosting a decrease in crashes by half is staggering considering that the technology is fairly new. You can check out a video of a man test driving a Model S on autopilot for the first time below.
With the data coming from Tesla's own engineers, it is likely that the numbers may be slightly inflated, and the sample group of cars equipped with the autopilot system is very limited. Tesla states that autopilot should only be engaged on the highways, but this doesn't stop people from using it around town. However, given that the system is supposedly limited to highway driving, the sample group likely only took into account accidents which occurred on the highway with autopilot engaged, according to Gizmodo.
Even if the number isn't exactly 50, even just a slight drop in the number of crashes could save thousands of lives, and drop car accidents off of the list of top causes of death in the world.
[Image Source: Flickr]
The realm of autonomous cars is still relatively new, and as the trend continues to persist, more data will become available to further back up Musk's claim, or prove otherwise. Nonetheless, so far autonomous vehicles are looking like they could be a game changer in the world of driving safety.