Posted on July 15, 2018 by Charles Morris
The MIT Autonomous Vehicle Technology Study (MIT-AVT), which is studying human-AI interaction in driving, has collected masses of real-world driving data, and is using that data to glean all sorts of insights of interest to Tesla fans. In a previous post, we admired a set of nifty charts, prepared by study co-author Lex Fridman, that illustrate how many Tesla vehicles with each version of Autopilot hardware are on the roads.
Above: Tesla Model S (Image: Tesla)
Now Mr. Fridman has aggregated various publicly available data sources to elucidate the total number of miles driven by Autopilot-equipped Tesla vehicles.
Fridman has charted the number of miles driven using both Autopilot hardware versions, as well as the number of miles driven in shadow mode (in which Autopilot logs the data streams from vehicles even when they are under manual control).
Above: Estimated miles all Tesla vehicles have driven including those in Autopilot "shadow" mode (Source: MIT-AVT)
Fridman estimates that Tesla vehicles have driven over 7.8 billion miles in the aggregate, over 1.2 billion of those miles in Autopilot mode and over 1.6 billion in shadow mode. Even more impressive than the size of these figures is how quickly they were reached - less than 3 years. With deliveries accelerating, the number of miles, and the amount of data gathered, will soon go into hockey-stick mode, keeping Tesla miles ahead of any potential competitors in the vehicle autonomy race.
According to Fridman’s calculations, the average number of miles driven per Tesla vehicle per day is 31.76, and the average number of Autopilot miles driven per Autopilot-enabled vehicle per day is 7.91. This means that Autopilot-capable vehicles are operating in Autopilot mode about 25% of the time.
Above: Estimated Autopilot miles driven in both Tesla's hardware 1 and 2+ modes (Source: MIT-AVT)
As Fridman sees it, Tesla is striving to develop AI systems that save human lives at a very large scale. “The stakes are high and the pressure on engineers to do the best work of their life couldn’t be higher. We have a lot of data in the MIT-AVT study that helps illuminate how to take on this life-critical challenge.”
Fridman and his colleagues invite all Tesla owners to help with the research by taking (and sharing) his team’s detailed survey on Autopilot.