Wednesday, 13 October 2021 19:12

Tesla Shares Rare Look Into its Crash Lab

Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati



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Thanks to their all-electric design, Teslas have garnered a reputation for protecting their occupants even in serious accidents.

As indicated by the company in a recent video, its vehicles are only going to get even safer with time, in no small part due to the efforts of the company’s engineers working in the Tesla crash lab. 


A rare look at Tesla’s crash lab was recently posted on the company’s official YouTube channel. In the video, several engineers working at the state-of-the-art facility explained how Tesla goes above and beyond in its efforts to release the safest vehicles possible to customers.

To accomplish this, Tesla uses its key strengths, from its ever-expanding fleet and its mastery of software, to simulate, develop and improve its vehicles’ safety systems. 


As noted by one of the company’s safety engineers, automakers typically build vehicles for industry crash testing. However, the scenarios represented by industry tests typically correspond to but a fraction of real crashes that happen on the road.


Through the data it has gathered from its fleet, Tesla has learned real-world crashes are a lot more complex than those typically simulated by industry tests. It is these more complex, varied and difficult crashes Tesla is addressing in its lab. 


“Previously, the best way to design a safe car was for industry-standard crash testing, and those crash tests are like a few grains of sand that are meant to represent the beach," said Dan, a Tesla safety engineer. "But in reality, the beach is infinitely more complex. Every crash is different. With emerging technologies, there are new opportunities now. We can look at the real world and design for that.”
Thanks to a fleet of vehicles fully instrumented from a sensing perspective, Tesla is able to determine the exact circumstances that happen in the event of a real-world collision. Using the data gathered from these events, the company can then tune its vehicles’ safety systems, from the reaction of seatbelts to the optimal timing for the deployment of airbags.


Tesla tunes its vehicles’ safety systems extensively, and once improvements are refined enough, the improvements are...

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