Tesla introduces Safety Score (Beta) system that incentivizes safe driving

Credit: Whole Mars Catalog/YouTube

As Tesla starts the rollout of its “Request Full Self Driving” button to more members of its fleet, the company has also introduced its Safety Score (Beta) system to evaluate driving behaviors. With this new system on hand, Tesla has effectively incentivized and gamified safe driving, which would likely make the rollout of programs such as FSD Beta a lot smoother and less likely to result in accidents. 

Safety Scores are an assessment of driving behavior based on five metrics that the company calls “Safety Factors.” These factors are Forward Collision Warnings (FCW) per 1,000 MilesHard BrakingAggressive TurningUnsafe Following, and Forced Autopilot Disengagement. Tesla utilizes a Predicted Collision Frequency (PCF) formula based on statistical modeling using 6 billion miles of fleet data to predict how many collisions may occur per 1 million miles driven. The PCF is converted into a Safety Score between 0 and 100, which are then viewed through the Tesla App. 

Tesla’s Safety Score as viewed through the Tesla App. (Credit: Tesla Raj/Twitter)

Tesla released some tips on how drivers could improve their Safety Score. To improve ratings on Forward Collision Warnings per 1,000 Miles, drivers are advised to maintain a following distance that gives enough time to react to slower or stationary vehicles ahead. Hard Braking scores, on the other hand, could be improved by engaging the brake pedal early when slowing down and using regen braking whenever possible and safe to do so. Hard Braking scores should also improve when drivers maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them. 

Aggressive Turning is defined as left/right acceleration in excess of 0.4g. Thus, drivers could improve their numbers in this metric by taking turns gradually, reducing their speed heading into a turn, and gradually accelerating afterward. Unsafe Following scores would likely be easy to improve, as drivers simply need to maintain a following distance worth several car lengths to the vehicle in front. This way, drivers could have enough time to react just in case something untoward happens. 

Forced Autopilot Disengagement highlights the need to use the company’s advanced driver-assist features in a responsible manner. Proper Autopilot use is outlined in vehicles’ Owner’s Manual, and it requires drivers to have their hands on the wheel and pay close attention to the road. Tesla notes that the Forced Autopilot Disengagement metric is a 1 or 0 indicator, with the value being 1 if Autopilot forcibly disengages during a drive and 0 if the system is operated nominally. 

An example of a high Safety Score, reflecting generally good driving behaviors. (Credit: Jason DeBolt/Twitter)
An example of a low Safety Score, reflecting some unsafe driving behaviors. (Credit: Tesla Raj/Twitter)

Safety Scores are updated every time a trip is taken on a Tesla vehicle. Provided that a Tesla is connected to the internet, Safety Scores should provide immediate feedback on a driving session. Vehicles that are not connected to the internet would update their Safety Scores as soon as cellular connectivity is secured. It should also be noted that all trips over 0.1 miles are considered as a valid driving session that could affect a driver’s rating. 

Safety Scores are vehicle-specific as well, so drivers with multiple Teslas could have varying ratings for each of their cars. Lastly, Safety Scores should reset when a vehicle is sold, which means that a Tesla’s new owner should not be affected by the ratings of the previous driver. Drivers could also not carry over their Safety Scores from one vehicle if they purchase a new Tesla. 

A full and extensive discussion of how Tesla’s Safety Scores work could be found here.

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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