At the PyTorch developer conference on October 10, 2019, Andrej Karpathy announced that Navigate on Autopilot has been engaged for over 1 billion miles and has completed 200 million automatic lane changes. (He wrote 200,000 on the slide, but there’s no way there have been less lane changes than Smart Summon attempts).
Navigate on Autopilot was introduced on October 26, 2018. This means that Navigate on Autopilot was engaged for more than 1 billion miles before it’s first birthday.
Given that Tesla announced 1 billion Autopilot miles on November 28, 2018, almost all of the billion miles for Navigate on Autopilot happened after Tesla had already hit the 1 billion mile mark for Autopilot. This confirms estimates by MIT Researcher Lex Fridman that show Autopilot passed 2 billion total miles engaged today (or earlier).
Why does this matter?
Will your self driving car be able to protect you in a one in a billion freak event? Is it programmed to handle it? Did the developers even think of it?
There’s only one way to make sure you handle those one in a billion events. You have to actually go and drive a billion miles to see it happen once. The more miles the car drives, the safer and safer the system becomes.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously stated that Autopilot probably needs around 6 billion miles before it can safely operate without supervision.
The closest competition, Waymo has currently driven just over 10 million miles with 600 cars. Tesla is over 2 billion miles (with a B) using around 800,000 cars.
To close, I’ll leave you with a short video clip showing global Autopilot drives animating on a map. This full talk was the source of the information in this post.