Tesla isn’t content with simply passing the industry-standard testing procedures, which is why we see them approaching the subject so differently in this video.
Many will remember when the Model S broke the testing rig at the NHTSA for those who have followed Tesla over the years. During a roof crush test, the rig designed to apply forces actually failed after reaching around 4Gs. That’s akin to resting four sedans on top of the Model S without it breaking.
While it’s one thing to be cable of withstanding a static force like that, it’s another thing to deal with high-speed impacts, and today we got a sneak behind the curtains at Tesla to see how they keep customers safer.
Currently, industry-standard testing only includes a few very specific types of crashes. This is the problem, according to Tesla. No two crashes are identical, so Tesla has used data gathered from more than a million vehicles in the field to figure out the best way to protect occupants.
In this video, we see them specifically dealing with a side impact that happens just ahead of the door, again, a test that the NHTSA and IIHS don’t perform. Using the data gathered from customer cars and internal testing, they’re optimizing the safety system.
In the test shown below, note how the only airbags to deploy are the ones that are directly beneficial to the occupant of the Model Y. Tesla says that the vehicle can make that determination and begin mitigating factors in a tenth of a second.
Tesla says that its testing allows for calibrating even small details like how hard the seat belt will restrain a passenger down to the millimeter or the mile-per-hour.
While some still bemoan Tesla and its Autopilot feature and implementation, there’s no question that these advancements to crash testing is a step in the right direction.