Tesla’s Safety Score Beta Needs Wider Terms to Count Your Score
Tesla’s Safety Score Beta is in my opinion one of the most impressive ideas for improving driving safety. An article from Model 3 owner and Tesla enthusiast Nick howard explained that Tesla essentially played the act of driving, encouraging owners to drive in a way that would allow their scores to be higher. If you know anything about the Tesla community, you know it’s filled with die-hard fans who are satirically battling for the elusive 100 scores. While Tesla has described the ways in which driving behaviors might affect the score for better or worse, I think there are other cases that need to be described so that owners are fully aware of how their score might be affected based on their hobby or their driving style. Although I don’t agree with Consumer Reports’ assuming the safety score is a bad idea (which actually doesn’t make sense to me), I think some owners are confused about what makes their score higher or lower, especially since many owners are trying to get into the elusive Full Self-Drive Beta Program.
If you’ve taken a look at Tesla’s support page which describes the many factors that can affect a driver’s safety score, it sounds pretty straightforward. There are cut and dry behaviors that tend to be universally recognized as “aggressive,” including bottoming out, hard braking, and aggressive cornering. Additionally, 1,000 mile forward collision warnings and forced autopilot disengages are also included in behaviors that could affect your score, but these are exclusive to Tesla, of course, due to their use of warnings. forward collision and autopilot disengages.
Tesla introduces Safety Score (Beta) system to encourage safe driving
It’s very self-explanatory: drive safely and get a higher score. But aren’t there some cases where things could get a little confusing for some drivers, especially those with scores just below the perfect threshold of 100?
One example I saw over the weekend was Richard Marrero, a Tesla owner who was curious to take his vehicle to the local racetrack. Although Tesla owners occasionally step on the accelerator when a brake light turns green, it can be understandable that safety scores are affected. However, what if the nature of driving occurs on a closed course? Marrero can drive like a saint on the road, but may want to push his vehicle to the limit on a drag strip or local circuit. After all, why have a high performance car with jaw-dropping acceleration if you can’t test it every now and then?
– Richard Marrero (@The_Richard_M) October 2, 2021
There are other examples that could affect a safety score that are technically beyond the driver’s control. In some cases, this may be an action taken by the driver that is technically safer than other options, but it could lower the safety score. Tesla Joy, a Model 3 owner, encountered this situation on Oct. 1, according to a Tweet. Its safety score was reduced due to hard braking to a “quick-change amber light”. I believe almost anyone who has a driver’s license can attest that some traffic lights are slightly faster than others. Fast-changing amber lights are one of the most polarizing events of a daily commute. Some will just tell you to go through it, others will say the safest thing to do is just slow down and stop. Whichever way you choose to handle this scenario, you will likely come across someone who shares a point of view on how to deal with premature yellow light in a different way.
Today I braked hard for 2 quick change amber lights and got rung. I also accelerated to another amber light and was not stunned but felt more dangerous that way. Since the Tesla car can see, can hard braking at an amber light be penalty free because it is safer? ?? @Elon Musk
– Tesla Joy (@TeslaJoy) October 2, 2021
However, I don’t necessarily believe there is a “wrong” way to deal with it. While the correct course of action, to my knowledge as a driver over 11, would require you to slow down and stop, especially since the yellow light is a key indicator of “slowing down”. Tesla Joy did it as most learning permit booklets would describe it, but she was still tied to the points.
There are undoubtedly other examples of how Tesla could better explain actions that are not favorable to the safety score system, and I would love to hear your thoughts or examples of events that affected your score. Tesla has done a great job of outlining the most important actions that will affect safety scores, but there are other questions that need to be addressed so that drivers are clear about what other things could be affecting their scores. After all, the larger the FSD beta test group, the more data Tesla will get through its neural network.
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