Another 102 Fatalities today by non-self driving vehicles. And 500 Fires/day

Another 102 Fatalities today by non-self driving vehicles. And 500 Fires/day

People should not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drivers are killing many people each and every day.

RJMIII | March 28, 2018

Your logical facts bore me. I'd rather read a salacious article that feeds my irrational fear of the future.

Shock | March 28, 2018

It's unfair that self-driving gets all the flak when an accident happens. But this is modern America and we are like moths to a flame.

Remember a few years ago drones were all over the news. Drones this, that, they were going to cause an airliner to crash at any moment, they are a public menace. All crap. And meanwhile, hundreds of people per year were dying in small engine planes, just people out on joyrides dying constantly, and often hitting houses, but it barely gets a blip.

Mike83 | March 28, 2018

14% increase in car accidents which seems to indicate cars are getting worse. now at 40,000 deaths and over 1.5 million injuries in a year. That is a remarkable number.

djharrington | March 28, 2018

Also, another ~750+ car fires yesterday (well, using data between 2003-2007 ... too lazy to look up more current data, but you get the idea).

Agent_86 | March 28, 2018

I completely agree with the sentiment that self-driving is getting to the point where it's equal to or safer than human drivers and that there's a huge risk to life of placing an expectation of perfection on the performance before considering it ready to deploy. That said, specific to this post, it's important to note that there are about 300 million miles driven per day in the US while Waymo and Uber, the top contenders in self-driving have cumulatively racked up fewer than 7 million miles over the total life of their programs. Saying news of the first death involving a self-driven vehicle is not worthy of consideration or news because there are many deaths in non-self-driving cars, and making a direct comparison of deaths without regard to ratios is disingenuous.

billstanton | March 28, 2018

Alcohol, weed, texting, eating, makeup, aggressiveness (guilty), the list of distractions and bad habits is endless and growing constantly. That which I thought silly I am now ready that drive better than us is getting more likely from both ends, bad drivers on one side, better computers and software on the other side, may just converge. One can hope it will be safer.

Mike83 | March 28, 2018

The millions of disabled people from car accidents is staggering.
A year ago Tesla's have about 4 Billion miles driven. How many miles now I wonder. That seems like a great track record. I think the news about a Tesla accident is so unusual it makes the news. I don't know if people really understand the issue.

ReD eXiLe ms us | March 28, 2018

Car fires are so common in Los Angeles that they only cover them in the news to fill the space between commercials when there is nothing else to report, like a car chase.

PaceyWhitter | March 28, 2018

The reason people are afraid of self driving cars is the same as the reason they are afraid of air travel. People can see that there are a large number of accidents in car travel but they don't believe that this applies to them because they believe that they would not get in those accidents if they were driving. (Even if they have accidents in their past). For air travel and self driving cars, they are not in control so they can't delude themselves into thinking that an accident wouldn't happen to them.

Ironically, one of the largest death toll of 9/11 was caused by automobile accidents afterwards because people were afraid of flying.

Mike83 | March 28, 2018

On Netflix there is a show Shot in the Dark about these guys getting to the fires ASAP and getting paid for it. Gasoline fires are painful. We know a couple who got burned and almost died and had to spend months with tissue transplants and severe pain. The news doesn't cover this stuff.

Shock | March 28, 2018

"14% increase in car accidents which seems to indicate cars are getting worse."

Cars are getting better but we are getting worse at a faster rate.This is why future generations will marvel at the fact we had to drive ourselves, all the while surfing the net on our phones.

Mike83 | March 28, 2018

It does amaze me how many people I see with their cell phone stuck on their ear driving poorly. Our Tesla saved us from this turkey on the freeway with a warning sound so we could move a lane away from them.
Penalties should be much higher for this type of activity.
One question in my mind is if car companies pay for advertising does it affect reporting? I believe it does as the important news is ignored

TabascoGuy | March 28, 2018

@wildbillstanton, Are you only admitting to driving aggressively or to all of the above?

J_E_Mayne | March 28, 2018

I think we all have to be VERY careful when it comes to this topic. Believe me, I want self driving cars badly and (to my friends' chagrin) I never shut up about the latest tech on that front. And of course, we all love Tesla here and have inherent bias...

But without the mileage data to back up the claims, it's tough to say how much safer self driving tech is than the average human driver. Truth is, we are in FSD infancy right now and we simply don't have the breadth of data yet to make a proper comparison. This is further complicated by multiple systems for self driving with no real standardization between the auto makers yet. So one auto maker might be incredibly safe and another with more accidents than the norm.

Do I believe we are at the point of self driving tech being safer than humans? In theory, yes. In practice....not quite proven out. But I also don't want to see an accident here and there (as tragic as they can be), to stop us from progressing and putting down the miles that prove the safety.

Mike83 | March 28, 2018

This is why I like Tesla. They won't release FSD until it is safe. The EAP for our two Teslas have saved us from accidents and makes driving less stressful(ie. no road rage). But Uber seems to be not so smart IMO.
There must be 5 billion miles in Teslas; I'll bet their record is quite good and each day the car improves. Again, don't confuse other companies with Tesla; it is no comparison IMO

billstanton | March 28, 2018

@TabascoGuy: Two more.

Mike83 | March 28, 2018

Since I posted this am there have been over 45 more deaths by drivers. Don't see this in the news.

Mike83 | March 28, 2018

Comparing Tesla miles vs. total miles driven by all cars we should have hundreds of deaths in Teslas. I guess Tesla has a much safer record. It should be obvious.

Mike83 | March 29, 2018

And the accidents keep happening. For example

Another 100 deaths each and every 24 hours

Tesla-David | March 29, 2018

Thanks @Mike83 for putting things into perspective, couldn't agree with you more about how safe Tesla cars are with EAP. Tesla is very safety conscious and my comfort level when driving our MS and M3 in terms of feeling secure and safe is exceptional.

Mike83 | March 29, 2018

@Teslal-David. I really like the fact that the Tesla vision can see cars in front of the car in front of the Tesla. We have avoided several accidents as the car slows down well in advance of a potential collision.
We have a lot of Tesla miles with no fender benders using EAP and yes we are much saver in a Tesla and no CO or gas fumes to be concerned with.

LostInTx | March 29, 2018

Expensive cars, like Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and the like are driven by a more educated, wealthier group of people who appreciate the value of maintaining their cars. I would expect these people to be a bit more careful, a bit more aware, mature - all in all, better drivers. Yes, Tesla makes a save car. But I'll guess if you take all Tesla owners and have them drive Camrys for a year, the accident rate will be well below other Camry owners.

LostInTx | March 29, 2018

ugh.. wishing for edit capabilities. SAFE car, not save car.

Agent_86 | March 29, 2018

"Comparing Tesla miles vs. total miles driven by all cars we should have hundreds of deaths in Teslas. I guess Tesla has a much safer record. It should be obvious."

Teslas are not autonomous vehicles. There are significant autonomous features which have undoubtedly saved lives, an increased safety factor that I don't think insurance companies aren't pricing into premiums as they should and I'm personally excited about my Model 3 in large part due to autopilot. All that said, Tesla is very quick to point out they only provide driver assistance and would not disagree that while these miles driven do provide valuable data to use for autonomous training, the miles should not be included in any tally of self-driven miles.

Mike83 | March 29, 2018

Yes indeed. The data which is used by AI will eventually provide for FSD which EAP in not. Also EAP is in beta and requires driver awareness. All Tesla owners must sign in to enable these features and we all know it.
As far as LostInTx comments. There are trust fund babies who are not the safest drivers and I have witnessed some of these. Having a crumple zone without a front engine really protects against severe injuries or death and that makes the Teslas the safest cars made in addition to not having explosive gasoline( one gas tank= 200 sticks of dynamite)

Brian B | March 29, 2018

If a car is going to drive me, the speed limits better double for them.

Mike83 | March 29, 2018

There is no reason why the speed limit can't be increased to 120 mph with the current Teslas but only if no ICE vehicles are allowed on the roads where they can drive.

Carl Thompson | March 29, 2018

Remember speed doesn't just affect how fast you get there. Going 120MPH would waste a lot of energy compared to 60MPH. When self driving is a thing they could actually make the speed limits _lower_ and save energy. And it wouldn't bother me because in an autonomous car I could take that afternoon nap or watch a movie or catch up on reading or write email or whatever. Imagine getting credit for working at the same time you're commuting!

SamO | March 29, 2018

You can raise the speeds and still drop energy use. As explained to you before, platooning allows cars to follow more closely and cut down on drag.

Some people just don't seem like actual EV owners . . .

Carl Thompson | March 29, 2018


Do you really think that platooning at 120 MPH will get you the same efficiency as driving 60 MPH or are you arguing just to argue? Do you thing people will read a comment like that and not question your intelligence?

And did you consider that if you can platoon at 120 MPH you can also platoon at 60 MPH?

johnse | March 29, 2018

When we have a critical mass of autonomous electric vehicles, we can also make the routes these vehicles travel most be charging zones as well. The energy usage caused by high speed travel becomes moot if that energy does not need to be carried on the vehicles.

Also, if the roadway is enclosed with solar collectors on the roof, the airflow in the resulting tunnel can be leveraged to reduce the drag on vehicles--essentially providing them a tailwind for the high-speed portion of travel. Increasing traffic densities that would only be feasible using autonomous mesh networking would both provide drafting effects as well as help move the air to reduce the apparent airspeed.

johnse | March 29, 2018

@Mike83 "There must be 5 billion miles in Teslas" and "Comparing Tesla miles vs. total miles driven by all cars we should have hundreds of deaths in Teslas. I guess Tesla has a much safer record. It should be obvious."

The rate of traffic deaths in the US is 7.1 per billion kilometers driven. 5 billion miles is 8.3 billion km. If Teslas had the death rate of the US traffic as a whole we would expect about 59 deaths in Teslas. So not hundreds, but certainly more than we've heard about.

We tend to hear about Tesla traffic deaths because the car is built to take so much damage without serious injury to the passengers. When a death does come, it is often because the accident was so violent that it is out of the ordinary--that by definition it is newsworthy.

SamO | March 29, 2018

Only one of us didn't realize that driving behind another car would drop wH/m. Perhaps you don't remember the last time you were embarrased when you discovered that trucks drive 65+ . . .

And it's clear you still don't understand. Autonomous vehicles driven at 120 miles per hour can drive 2 feet apart . . . do you really think that each of the cars down the line is still using the same amount of energy to push through the air?

One of us looks like they don't understand how EVs, platooning and coefficients of drag works and then there is the actual owner of Model s and Model 3.

Mike83 | March 29, 2018

@johnse Your numbers make sense but that number is for one year and Tesla has been around several years; thus for each year we should be seeing more deaths which we don't . thanks for doing the calculations.
SamO yes drafting improves efficiency. In addition with more Solar energy, which Tesla Energy is installing the energy costs will greatly decrease.
The Tesla Semi is a great example of caravaning to reduce costs. They are already starting to deliver battery packs from the GF1 to Fremont I believe. Lots of changes coming and many people will be surprised.

Daryl | March 29, 2018

Air travel now is extremely safe, but every time there is an accident the NTSB does a thorough analysis to determine why, and if it's correctable require that it be corrected for future flights.

I think self-driving cars should be treated the same way. Even if they are much safer than human driving, when there's an accident it should be analyzed and corrections made where applicable.

adoh2010 | March 29, 2018

That's just how people act when they don't wanna lose control. It has to be perfect, flawless, better than an F1 driver while being smoother than the president's Chaffuer. Being better than the average driver is not enough, everybody thinks they're a great driver. Statistically it's less likely to kill you but people want it to absolutely not kill you, they're even thinking of one-in-a-trillion scenarios where the car would have to pick who to hit while no human would have a chance to make a rational decision on who to hit.

TabascoGuy | March 30, 2018

@SamO " you really think that each of the cars down the line is still using the same amount of energy..."

Wouldn't the lead car also be more efficient due to the "push" from the cars behind it?

johnmann | March 30, 2018

"Wouldn't the lead car also be more efficient due to the "push" from the cars behind it?"

That is correct and is one of the less understood advantages of drafting; everyone benefits! Although the lead object doesn't save as mush energy as those following.

dmm1240 | March 30, 2018

Modern media chases too many shiny objects.

Take terrorism. Your odds of dying from cancer or a heart attack are thousands of times more likely than being on the wrong end of a terrorist's bullet. What do we do? We have spent trillions combating terrorism but starve the National Institute of Health — which is charged with sponsoring research into diseases — for funds. We don't hear about that. What we do hear about 24/7 is about an attack when it occurs. We hear little about beating cancer.

Climate change. It's empirically proven that too much CO2 in the atmosphere traps heat. Methane is even worse. Climate change is becoming readily apparent — spring comes earlier, fall later (the trees outside my house are profoundly confused right now about when to sprout new leaves, they're all over the place). Storms are becoming larger, more violent and destructive. Do we get more than an occasional aside about this on TV as hurricanes flood Houston, New York City, Miami, New Orleans? Nope. What we get is the intrepid reporter on the scene trying to stand up in 100 mph winds telling us it's raining a lot because it's a good visual. What's not discussed, and wouldn't be watched even it is discussed, are news specials showing the effect of rising sea levels, melting ice, and the hockey stick becoming reality. Dull. "Where's Stan? Is he still standing up? Is it still raining sideways, Stan? Stay tuned to FOX, we'll get back to watching Stan and the waves in 2 minutes!"

We, meaning the audience, need to get a little more scholarly in what we watch even if it isn't as exciting as watching Stan hold onto a streetlight pole for dear life.

The media goes wild over Trump's wacky, childish tweets breathlessly repeating every word ad nauseum. Meanwhile, out of sight, that nut job Scott Pruitt is decimating EPA. I remember what it was like when we saw the air we breathed and polluted rivers caught fire. EPA changed all that. Do we really want to go back to that? Things are not in proper perspective.

That includes coverage of all things Tesla. Honda took two years to replace faulty airbags in millions of cars, my old CRV being one. (My wife had to ride in the back seat when we went anywhere for six months). Tesla spots a problem with a bolt on the power steering assembly, issues a voluntary recall for a simple fix and the world is ending.

Perspective is everything.

finman100 | March 30, 2018

hmmm. mush energy. is that a dogsled term? (sarcasm/can'thelpmyself)

Mike83 | March 30, 2018

@dmm1240 well said.
Add another 300+ deaths caused by drivers.

Atoms | March 30, 2018

Self driving vehicles should have accident prevention systems with priority over the navigating system. Accident prevention should also be a higher priority for development than self driving (navigation system). Multiple systems exist in our brains and multiple systems should exist in our cars with priority to decrease severity.

lilbean | March 30, 2018

Teslas are safer. My insurance premium went down when I added my Model 3 and got rid of my seventeen year old Ford Escape.

Mike83 | March 30, 2018

Using AP is 370% safer than without it. Proven numbers.
Our insurance went down also, around 45 %.

lilbean | March 30, 2018

That is awesome! What a pleasant surprise. :)

compchat | March 30, 2018

Tesla doesns't make a self-driving car yet. So what's the discussion about ? With all the cameras and sensors and radar M3 is not self driving. It still needs a driver to hold onto the wheel and will likely always need that. It can't make turns, stop for lights, etc. NOT selfdriving.

SamO | March 31, 2018

An egg is not a chicken and probably never will be. I’ve seen the shell.

cessna182 | March 31, 2018

what percentage of vehicles are autonomous? That skews the failure rate in favor of human guided missles.

Mike83 | March 31, 2018

The numbers are based on millions of miles driven by each type of vehicle. In any case we should be seeing many more AP accidental deaths which we don't. That is why one death is news I guess as it is so unusual and we can gain more data. It is apparent that human drivers have lots of accidents and deaths. AP makes driving much safer and I can personally attest to that as we have avoided several accidents because we use it.

cessna182 | March 31, 2018

Just saying since there are so few vehicles with ap, any incident will produce a higher failure rate. I don’t have ap and I have avoided many accidents. I fly aircraft with ap...there are significantly fewer aircraft and objects to contend with. Houston traffic takes total concentration, even the best robot can’t fix stupid.