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Tesla Stands By Its Claim That The Model 3 Is ‘Safest Car Ever Tested’

tesla model 3

Despite a warning from a federal safety regulator last fall that Tesla stops advertising its Model 3 as the “safest car ever tested,” the Palo Alto-based company is standing by its claim.

According to Tesla, Model 3 passengers will have “the lowest probability of injury of all cars the safety agency has ever tested.” This is still on the company’s website. However, documents showed that in at least five instances, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent subpoenas to the company, seeking information on crashes involving their vehicles.

In October last year, the same federal agency sent a cease-and-desist letter to Tesla for not complying with the agency’s guidelines in its Model 3 safety assertions. NHTSA apparently chided Tesla, which is led by billionaire Elon Musk, for publishing misleading statements about the safety of the car.

In a letter dated October 31, 2019, Tesla stood by its analysis of NHTSA’s data. Tesla deputy general counsel Al Prescott said that Tesla’s statements “are neither untrue nor misleading.”

“To the contrary, Tesla has provided consumers with fair and objective information to compare the relative safety of vehicles having 5-star overall ratings.”

According to the automaker, 40% of cars have five-star safety ratings from the NHTSA. The advertisement aims to help consumers know the difference in safety features among the cars currently in the market.

A letter from NHTSA chief counsel Jonathan Morrison to Musk on October 17 last year said that this was not the first time that Tesla did not heed the guidelines of the agency “in a manner that may lead to consumer confusion and give Tesla an unfair market advantage.”

Safety groups have criticized Tesla and Musk for being unclear about the capabilities of its Autopilot, a partial autonomous driving feature that falls just short of not needing driver intervention whatsoever.

 

Tesla Will Equip All Its Cars With Self-Driving Tech

tesla

Electric vehicle maker Tesla announced on October 19 that all the cars it will produce—including Model 3—will be equipped with technology that will allow them to go on auto-pilot.

Last year, the company co-founded by Elon Musk introduced the Autopilot system. Although it is far from offering fully-autonomous driving to its cars, the technology already has the elements that will pave way for that goal.

So far, the system allows auto-braking. It will also offer several features that will heighten the safety levels of the car, which is far more than the capability of a human driver.

To achieve such, Tesla equipped its cars with twelve updated ultrasonic sensors. The sensors double the capability of the old system in detecting hard and soft objects within the vicinity of the vehicle. The tech increases the awareness of the driver on the road too especially during heavy rain, dust, fog and in detecting incoming cars using its forward-oriented radar with enhanced processing.

Tesla said the new onboard computer in its cars provides 40 more computing capacity than the previous generation. The upgrade gives Tesla cars a new neural net enhancing their vision, sonar and radar. With that, every direction is seen by system simultaneously, which is far more than what the human senses are capable of.

Tesla reminded that customers will not have to wait for the mentioned technology anymore. The Tesla Model S and Model X have it already. The vehicles are being sold now.

For the meantime, Tesla stated that it will have to conduct more tests with their new system. The calibration would require millions of miles in real-world driving to ensure optimum safety and convenience. As a result, some features of the Autopilot will have to be disabled for the moment like the emergency braking, collision warning, lane assist and active cruise control. Over the air updates will be released to enable the blocked features once Tesla is confident in their new system.

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