Using data collected by Tesla cars, the manufacturer’s crash test workshop identifies the best accident scenarios to improve safety.
The Tesla Crash Lab is similar to the crash test labs of all vehicle manufacturers around the world: a large room with carcasses of cars filled with mannequins, subject to deliberate accidents filmed from dozens of angles. But Tesla engineers have one big thing to do their job: the billions of driving data recorded by Tesla owners while they are on the road.
Tesla’s crash tests are based on real accidents – not random scenarios
« By collecting data from millions of vehicles in our fleet and reproducing real-life accident scenarios, we are able to design some of the safest vehicles available. », Explains one of these engineers in a video recently released on Youtube by Tesla. The exploitation of this real data is much more reliable than relying on scenarios without data, since engineers can “stick” to real accident situations to identify the best way to improve vehicle safety.
Data collection is a real asset for manufacturers, and thanks to on-board computer technology, it becomes possible to know precisely what is happening in the vehicle during an accident. Exactly like in the “black box” of an airplane after a crash. A huge stake for Tesla, regularly criticized for its autonomous driving mode which would (but not always) be the cause of accidents. Harnessing this valuable data allows Tesla engineers to test some of the most common scenarios. Not all of them, since ” every collision is different Says Dan, a Tesla engineer in the video.
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Tesla is the only one in the world to use field data to carry out its crash tests
But it’s still more efficient and much more realistic than standard crash tests.. By analyzing, for example, which air bags are deployed and at what speed in previous accidents, the crash test laboratory tries other configurations by reproducing the accident in their test room. On the video, we see a Tesla being hit sideways on the left. Tesla engineers modified the on-board computer to be able to interpret the direction of the shock.
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In less than 10 milliseconds, the Tesla computer is thus able to assess the type of accident, the direction of the impact, its power., and thus to choose the scenario which will offer the best safety to its passengers among those available to them. The video thus shows that all the airbags are activated on the left (the direction of impact) but are not on the right. Thanks to its field data, Tesla no longer relies on chance and luck, but on reality. A “world first”, according to the electric vehicle manufacturer.
Source : Tesla / Youtube