Tesla cars are arguably some of the safest on the road. With top marks from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tesla drivers are in good hands.
That’s likely because the company extensively runs its vehicles through some very secretive crash tests. The Tesla Crash Test Lab is kept hidden in Fremont, California. In fact, journalists are rarely allowed inside the building where the magic happens. When the company gave a peek into what goes on in the warehouse last October, it was a big deal.
“We run thousands of crash simulations to ensure our vehicles are among the safest on the road,” Tesla Motors wrote in an Instagram video caption.
The clip shows a simulation of what happens under the hood during a front end collision. In it, the car’s frame appears to absorb some of the impact of the intense crash.
In a more extensive video, a Model S series vehicle is crash tested. Tesla starts the car at the end of a 340-foot track. The vehicle is attached to a propulsion system with a steel cable on the track and then it’s propelled down until it’s about three feet away from the impact zone.
“At the design level we’ll produce 3D models of the parts and we’ll simulate those using very complex and sophisticated mathematical models that represent the physics of a crash,” Jarad Hutchinson, an engineer, says in the video.
The Tesla cars are also tested for back end collisions by having model cars smash into them from behind — another factor that’s considered in customer feedback.
“I think that’s really encouraging to see feedback from people that have gotten into serious crashes,” Hutchinson said. “And they give you that feedback that you’ve saved their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”
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