Although the failures are spectacular, (The golden gate bridge incident is a prime example - "why wasn't the driver paying attention to what his car was doing?"), the averages are improving: https://insideevs.com/news/630650/tesla ... -improved/
According to Tesla, the number of miles driven per one accident registered, when using Autopilot technology, is consistently increasing, which indicates that cars are getting safer to use.
In Q3, the company noted one accident per 6.26 million miles driven - a 13 percent increase year-over-year. The record result was noted in Q1, at 6.57 million miles driven.
"It's important to note that the results are comparable only within a particular category (Autopilot or without Autopilot), not between the categories as the input data might be widely different (like simple highway driving or complex city driving). In other words, we can only see whether the active safety systems are improving over time (and it's also only a rough comparison), but we can't compare Autopilot to non-Autopilot driving."
"We collect the amount of miles traveled by each vehicle with Autopilot active or in manual driving, based on available data we receive from the fleet, and do so without identifying specific vehicles to protect privacy. We also receive a crash alert anytime a crash is reported to us from the fleet, which may include data about whether Autopilot was active at the time of impact. To ensure our statistics are conservative, we count any crash in which Autopilot was deactivated within 5 seconds before impact
, and we count all crashes in which the incident alert indicated an airbag or other active restraint deployed. (Our crash statistics are not based on sample data sets or estimates.) In practice, this correlates to nearly any crash at about 12 mph (20 kph) or above, depending on the crash forces generated. We do not differentiate based on the type of crash or fault (For example, more than 35% of all Autopilot crashes occur when the Tesla vehicle is rear-ended by another vehicle). In this way, we are confident that the statistics we share unquestionably show the benefits of Autopilot."
So in summary, the autopilot system is improving. But from the data, no concrete conclusions can be made about whether or not driving with autopilot is safer.