Tesla recently switched to a camera-based vision-only approach for its advanced driver-assist systems. The move made agencies and media outlets pull back on previous awards. This was because Tesla needed to initiate an update, and/or the agencies needed to retest the car's active safety systems to assure that they work as advertised.
Update: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tweeted that he believes the automaker can achieve a "max score for all subcategories/individual tests" in addition to the highest overall rating from the IIHS. He also mentions that retesting would happen in a month with updated software, and that all vehicles outfitted with the necessary "FSD" computer hardware would be updated.
Now that the Model 3's forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems have been updated and proven by the Insurance Institue for Highway Safety (IIHS) to work as advertised, the Model 3 gets its Top Safety Pick+ award back.
The report just broke via Consumer Reports, and the publication has also moved the Model 3 back to its previous "Top Pick" status. CR removed the car from the status when IIHS took away the electric sedan's Top Safety Pick+ award.
When the awards were first removed, people had concerns that their Tesla vehicles were no longer as safe as they once were. However, it seemed that due to such a major transition, it made sense for safety organizations to have to retest the vehicle before standing behind their previous claims.
Several Tesla owners who have taken delivery of Model 3 and Model Y vehicles without radar have been posting updates on social media, as well as videos on YouTube. The point here is to show people whether or not the car responds differently with a vision-only approach versus one with radar as well.
Following a recent update, Tesla owner Dirty Tesla tweeted yesterday:
He followed up with another tweet directed to Elon Musk, to which the outspoken CEO quickly replied:
While Musk said the update was coming this week, surprisingly, it came within hours of Dirty Tesla's request:
This all just goes to show how helpful Tesla's over-the-air software updates can be. The automaker reportedly "fixed" about 300,000 cars in China in a matter of a day or so. Now, it has updated its safety systems and regained its recommendations from Consumer Reports, a publication that commonly scrutinizes Tesla. CR's senior director of car testing Jake Fisher shared:
“Given the IIHS’ recent evaluations of Tesla’s new camera-based system on its Model 3 and consistent with CR’s integration of IIHS ratings into our recommendations, CR is restoring the car’s Top Pick status."
It comes as no surprise IIHS has granted the Model 3's top status back since the vehicle has proven that its safety systems perform as advertised, despite the removal of radar. NHTSA has yet to update its website. It still shows the Model 3 missing key safety features. We'll keep a look out for an upcoming update from NHTSA.