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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on May 7th, 2020 | by Cynthia Shahan

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Tesla Safety Record Continues To Be Exemplary

May 7th, 2020 by  


I recently encouraged a friend of mine to test drive a Tesla. My encouragement was just the little bit needed. Once he drove the Tesla, he made his decision quickly and ordered one. My objective was simple. I knew he would love the smooth tech advancements that Tesla offers, the future at the palms of his hands while driving. But what I was concerned with was his safety. And that is the number one reason I mention Tesla to anyone. Whether you are in a Tesla or beside a Tesla, you as a driver or passenger are safer thanks to Tesla’s advanced tech.

Image by Frank Semmens

Okay, I know this due to my son largely — whose opinion I trust implicitly in all things transportation. But there are the facts as well.

Teslas are deliberately, intentionally, and whole heartedly engineered to be exceptionally safe. Tesla has that sweet combination of passive safety, active safety, and automated driver assistance. Tesla repeats its intention to do good, its intention to keep not just Tesla drivers and passengers safe, but everyone in a vehicle on the road near them safe. So many accidents simply won’t happen with a Tesla.

Exhibit A: Model 3 achieves the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by the NHTSA.

Exhibit B: Tesla Model 3 earns top IHS safety score in all 8 test categories.

Exhibit C: The more recent Tesla Vehicle Safety Report update. More of that same good intention, manifest:

“In the 1st quarter, we registered one accident for every 4.68 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.99 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.42 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 479,000 miles.

“Total overall miles and crashes were significantly reduced in this quarter.”

Why? Tesla expounds on that a bit as well.

Fortified structure of skateboard battery pack in car’s floor

“Model S, Model X and Model 3 have achieved the lowest overall probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by the U.S. government’s New Car Assessment Program. Much of this has to do with the rigid, fortified structure of the battery pack that is mounted to a car’s floor, which provides a vehicle with exceptional strength, large crumple zones, and a uniquely low center of gravity. Because of their strength, Tesla’s battery packs rarely incur serious damage in accidents. And, in the extremely unlikely event that a fire occurs, the state-of-the-art design of our battery packs ensures that its safety system works as intended and isolates a fire to select areas within the battery while simultaneously venting heat away from the passenger cabin and the vehicle.”

Advanced & constantly improving software

“While no car can prevent all accidents, we work every day to try to make them much less likely to occur. Active safety features come standard on all Tesla vehicles made after September 2014 for an added layer of safety beyond the physical structure of each car. Because every Tesla is connected, we’re able to use the billions of miles of real-world data from our global fleet – of which more than 1 billion have been driven with Autopilot engaged – to understand the different ways accidents happen. We then develop features that can help Tesla drivers mitigate or avoid accidents. Through over-the-air software updates, we’re able to introduce safety features and enhancements long after a car has been delivered, as well as release updated versions of existing safety features that take into account the most up-to-date real-world data collected by our fleet.”

Transparency keeps stress at bay. It is necessary. In October of 2018, Tesla began voluntarily releasing quarterly safety data. In July 2019, Tesla began voluntarily releasing annually updated data about vehicle fires as well.

But how strong is that stunning, expansive glass roof? 

If that rarer accident does happen, talk about strong! Who expects for the glass roof to stay intact with an SUV rolled on top of it? It’s nice to see someone walking away from such an accident, with the glass roof intact and the driver able to easily grab her bag out of the back seat.

What is keenly impressive about all the manifest safety and good intention is the short duration that Tesla has been around as a car manufacturer. It’s startling. From the Tesla Roadster in 2008 to the 2012 Model S to today and the coming 2022 Cybertruck, that is light speed work to become so exactingly safe.

More information from Tesla is available here: Tesla Accident Data Q3 2018 to Q1 2020.

Related story: IIHS: Tesla Model 3 Earns Top Safety Score In All 8 Test Categories 
 


 


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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)



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