Tesla’s vehicles have faced an interesting dilemma in the public narrative as of late, with the company’s Full Self-Driving and Autopilot systems recently coming under fire in the media. Still, the automaker’s vehicle safety standards speak for themselves, especially in a European study that surfaced.
The Tesla Model Y received the highest safety score in history in recent testing by the European New Car Assessment Program, as detailed in a report from Forbes. The study also noted that Tesla’s camera-only Autopilot was a key factor in helping the Model Y prevent collisions with other cars, pedestrians and cyclists.
The electric SUV earned a 92 percent overall to top the Euro NCAP, which is considered the organization’s most rigorous and recently developed safety test. The next highest score in this year’s study was a tie between the Lexus NX and the Subaru Outback at 89 percent.
The Euro NCAP index was originally started by the United Kingdom, though it now includes several countries within the European Union.
In the index, Euro NCAP tests for several angles, including front, lateral and rear impacts. It also tests for the severity of impacts to passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. Other significant tests included those for safety assistance systems, like Tesla’s Autopilot, and their responses to lane keeping, speed assistance, driver attention and collision avoidance.
The Model Y scored well in four different categories in Euro NCAP’s study: adult occupant protection, safety assist, child occupant protection and vulnerable road users (AKA pedestrians).
Tesla’s electric SUV scored a 97 percent in adult occupant protection, a 98 percent in safety assist, an 87 percent in child occupant protection and an 82 percent in protection against vulnerable road users.
The pedestrian avoidance metric is a particularly vulnerable score in the test system, based purely on if vehicles hit a pedestrian or cyclist in testing. Euro NCAP noted that the Model Y avoided pedestrians very well using its camera-only Autopilot system.
“The Model Y camera-only Vision system performs remarkably well in preventing collisions with other cars, cyclists and pedestrians,” said Euro NCAP.
Behind the Model Y, the Lexus NX and the Subaru Outback were the Genesis G80 (88 percent) and the Wey Coffee 01 (88 percent), making up the top five. The rest of the top 10 was comprised of the Mercedes EQ EQS, the Nissan Qashqai, the Polestar 2, the Mercedes T-Class and the Mercedes C-Class.
Tesla was quick to point out what makes its vehicles so safe, which can largely be boiled down to the automaker’s engineering.
In response to the news, Tesla highlighted its mid-cabin airbags, its casting techniques, which create a single underbody piece, and its improved battery packs. The battery pack, according to Tesla, “provides immense crash strength to the safety cell, helping to maintain compartment integrity.”
“Our team is dedicated to improving driving safety,” Tesla said in a post noting the victory. “Achieving some of the highest safety scores ever awarded doesn’t give us pause—it motivates us to make some of the world’s safest vehicles even safer.”
By Peter McGuthrie, courtesy of EVANNEX.
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