The Tesla Model 3 is considered one of the world's safest passenger cars ever made, after receiving top notes from safety authorities on three continents.

As the Model 3 active safety features were one of the key systems to achieve such outstanding results, it comes as a surprise that Model 3 failed miserably in the latest AAA's test of Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection.

AAA tested four mid-size sedans, which all fell below expectations passing the test only on some of the tries at a speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) during the day:

  • 2019 Chevrolet Malibu with Front Pedestrian Braking
  • 2019 Honda Accord with Honda Sensing®-CollisionBraking System™
  • 2019 Tesla Model 3 with Automatic Emergency Braking
  • 2019 Toyota Camry with Toyota Safety Sense™ -Pre-CollisionSystem with Pedestrian Detection

Higher speeds or night time (when in fact it's harder to see a pedestrian) were a really terrible idea from the dummy's perspective.

Key Findings

1.When encountering an adult pedestrian in a perpendicular crossing scenario:

  • a.Each test vehicle provided visual notification of an impending collision during each test runconducted at 20 mph.
    • i.In aggregate, a collision with an adult pedestrian target was avoided 40%of the time
    • ii.During an additional 35%of the time, collisions were mitigated by an average speed of4.4 mph
  • b.At 30 mph, three out of four test vehicles failed to reduce the impact speed by at least 5 mphduring the initial test run.

2.Evaluated pedestrian detection systems were significantly challenged in the following scenarios:

  • a.When encountering a child pedestrian at 20 mph, a collision was avoided 11% ofthe time inaggregate. An additional 25% of the time, collisions were mitigated by an average speed of 5.9mph.
  • b.When encountering a pedestrian immediately after a right curve, none of the test vehiclesmitigated the impact speed during any of the five test runs.
  • c.When encountering two pedestrians alongside the roadway at 20 mph, a collision was avoided20%of the time in aggregate. An additional 35%of the time, collisions were mitigated by anaverage speed of 3.4 mph.

3.Evaluated pedestrian detection systemswere ineffective during nighttime conditions.


We are not sure about the AAA's methodology, but the most striking thing is that the Model 3, which shined in Euro NCAP tests, wasn't able to automatically brake to avoid the collision with the pedestrian in a series of five measurement tests. It's irrational as the car detected dummies from the distance and alerted the driver - the missing action was to simply brake earlier than just ahead of impact.

Tesla Model 3 - Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection (Source: AAA)

Toyota Camry at least managed to score a positive result at 20 mph five times, followed by three successful tries by the Honda Accord.


The overall results and incomprehensibly poor result of the Tesla Model 3, in particular, was presented in an excellent video by The Tech of Tech:

Feel free to leave us a comment on what do you think about the automatic emergency braking and such a poor score for the Tesla Model 3.

Source: AAA Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection - pdf report via The Tech of Tech

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