Tesla Model 3 Wins IIHS Safety Award

Safety is of the utmost concern in passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, the Tesla Model 3 had been missing checkmarks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) since they announced they were shifting their cars into a vision-based safety system. The new system would incorporate cameras into the Model 3’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) components. However, thanks to their recent review, The Tesla Model 3’s have regained their safety record from the IIHS. However, as CNBC notes, the checkmarks are still missing from some governmental agencies.

A Consumer Reports Top Pick

Following the announcement that they would be replacing the radar-based system with a vision-based system, the Model 3 lost its Consumer Reports Top Pick rating. However, the car regained its rating as a Top Safety Pick + according to the IIHS website. Jake Fisher, the senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center, noted, “Given the IIHS’ recent evaluations of Tesla’s new camera-based system on its Model 3 and consistent with CR’s integration of IIHS ratings into our recommendations, CR is restoring the car’s Top Pick status.”

Moving Away From Radar

Tesla has already noted that it intends to move away from radar-based systems in keeping with its drive to produce fully autonomous vehicles shortly. The company recently decided to no longer equip Model YSUVs and Model 3 sedans with radar sensors anymore. Instead, the company has gone all-in on their camera-based vision system, termed Tesla Vision. The cards will combine their onboard camera systems with a neural network to develop machine learning that will improve the performance of the related systems. The aim is to prevent crashes.

While having a vehicle that has superior awareness on the roads is a plus, there’s still a concern for those inside the car. A sudden stop could damage passengers who don’t wear a seatbelt or kids that aren’t strapped to an adequately secured Nuna infant car seat. The company’s focus on safety does relate to its vision for the future, however. Tesla Vision can leverage its neural network to learn from other vehicles and improve its safety record. Using AI in teaching cars to recognize potential collisions is among the most viable uses of this cutting-edge technology. If these neural networks pool their information, they could learn much faster.

The Model 3 remains one of the most sought-after vehicles in its class. Tesla’s improved safety features haven’t changed that reality, but the company is thinking much bigger. With an eye on taking over the autonomous driving market, Tesla Vision represents a step in that direction. Vision-equipped vehicles that can automatically sense when the car is coming into contact with something else can be leveraged in the future in autonomous driving software. Already, Tesla’s cruise control system allows for assisted driving to a great degree. One can wonder whether this is the next obvious step in car sensory systems. It could add a boost to the potential for self-driving cars within the next decade.

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