What makes Tesla’s car “The World’s Safest Car”? Car safety has improved drastically over the years. And one company appears to be leading the pack. Tesla has consistently received five-star ratings from organizations that perform crash tests, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
What makes Tesla Car The World’s Safest Car?
One reason you’d be safer in a Tesla is that electric cars don’t have an engine. So all the steel and aluminum at the front crumples and absorbs much of the impact. Preventing it from being transmitted to the occupants. The lack of an engine isn’t the only reason they’re safe. It has to do with the overall structure of the vehicle. They’re difficult to roll over because they have a low center of gravity. Since the heavy battery pack and the electric motors sit low in the vehicle.
The American road safety regulator, NHTSA, determined that the mid-size SUV, the Model Y, has a rollover risk of about 8%. Tesla says that’s the lowest risk of any SUV ever built. And lower than the chances of the Model X flipping over. In the unfortunate event that it does overturn, the Tesla relies on the strength of its roof to protect the people inside.
Related post: How Tesla Cars Are build So Quickly?
How Did The Tesla Model 3 Become The World’s Safest Car?
Tesla said in a blog post that the Model 3’s low center of gravity reduces its risk of rolling over. While its “lack of an engine is replaced by a large crumple zone that helps it absorb energy more effectively than a gas car would”. The company also said the vehicle’s glass roof protects passengers during the rollover.
The Model 3’s roof has been found to resist more than 20,000 pounds of force nearly six times its own weight. Or, as Tesla points out, it can withstand the weight of about two full-grown African elephants. The part of a car that offers the least amount of protection is the side. Since there’s no area designed to crumple, unlike the front and rear ends. To get over this side panel weakness, Teslas have been heavily reinforced with ultra-high grade steel, shown in teal blue, while the battery pack also acts as a barrier.
Automatic Emergency Braking
If there is a side collision, the Model 3 has a thick curtain airbag that also contributes to a high safety rating. A real-world example comes to mind. In Oregon recently, the driver of a Model S crashed into a pole, hit two trees, and a telephone box. The impact was so severe that hundreds of small batteries that work together to power. Despite the damage, the driver walked away with only minor injuries. Teslas have also been engineered to try to prevent accidents in the first place.
A safety feature detects when the vehicle is drifting into another lane and then steers itself back. And the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) recognizes obstacles and stops the car on its own. But there are still some kinks to be ironed out. When European safety experts Euro NCAP tested the braking system on a Model X. It avoided hitting a dummy resembling a child while traveling at 25 km/h (16 mph). But not at 30 km/h (19 mph) – though it did reduce the speed before impact. This type of technology isn’t new.
Autonomy Level of Tesla
Volvo introduced an auto-braking function over a decade ago. But Teslas differ because of their more advanced sensors which should technically be better at avoiding collisions. A combination of cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors help with navigation. The goal is to eventually have the vehicles drive themselves with no human driver at all.
You might say Level 5 autonomy is the holy grail. Tesla’s not quite there yet but is moving in that direction. Select customers have been able to beta test its full self-driving software – which works on both city streets and highways without any help from the driver. However, the driver still has to pay attention and be ready to step in if the vehicle fails to respond properly. So it’s not yet autonomous, and if you ask rivals, that won’t ever happen.
The CEO of Waymo, formerly known as Google’s self-driving project, dismissed Elon Musk’s company as a competitor, saying he doesn’t think Tesla’s will ever be autonomous. Musk fired back, tweeting: Tesla has better AI hardware and software than Waymo.
Tesla Full-self Driving Software
Tesla’s full-self driving software is believed to be propelling its vehicles from Level 2 autonomy to Level 3. The tech is a considerable improvement from Autopilot – which has cruise control but fewer features than FSD and is most often limited to highway use. With any system that isn’t fully autonomous, the driver has to remain alert. Not doing so can have fatal consequences.
Model X on Autopilot
In 2018, a Model X on Autopilot drove into a concrete barrier in California, killing the Apple engineer who had been playing a game on his iPhone and failed to take over the steering of the car. Although there have been concerns about the safety of automated Teslas, the company has still received stellar safety ratings with each new model it produces.
But five stars is not necessarily unprecedented. The gas-powered Lexus ES 350 and the electric Audi e-Tron both scored an overall safety rating of five on the NHTSA scale.
What’s most important is the likelihood of someone getting injured or killed. Tesla once touted the mass-market Model 3 as the safest car ever built. Regulators took issue with that bold statement. In a letter to Tesla, NHTSA accused the company of misleading consumers because they said it was “inappropriate” to rank vehicles of different weights. Tesla shot back, saying its statement was based on NHTSA’s own calculations. And the scuffle hasn’t ended there.
In January, the government agency asked Tesla to recall 158,000 Model S and Model Xs over failing touchscreens, which it said could increase the risk of crashes. As if the making of this video, Tesla hasn’t publicly made a statement. So, depending on who you ask, it’s up for debate whether Teslas are the safest vehicles out there. But it appears they’re leading the pack, and as the technology continues to improve, the hope is that safety will accelerate with it.