Tesla Tops 1 Billion Miles of Autonomous Driving

Tesla Inc. vehicles have accumulated more than 1 billion miles of driving under control of the company’s semi-autonomous AutoPilot system, according to an MIT researcher.

The calculation was made by Lex Fridman, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology research scientist whose work focuses on human-centered artificial intelligence.

Fridman says slightly more than half the total, which was reached in December, was accumulated using Tesla’s first-generation AutoPilot, which debuted in October 2015. The system can control a Tesla vehicle under certain conditions but assumes the driver will continue to monitor conditions and be ready to take control at any moment.

Fridman predicts the number of AutoPilot miles will grow to 2.3 billion miles by year-end. The forecast assumes the number of Tesla vehicles on the road worldwide will nearly double to more than 900,000 during this time.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously has said the auto industry likely will need 6 billion miles of data to gain regulatory approval for fully self-driving vehicles.