Tesla Model S Fails Vague Auto Brake Test, Smashes Into Dummy Car


A European automotive testing authority reports that the Tesla Model S failed to stop in its braking simulation.

According to the Luxembourg testing and standardization authority (ILNAS) – as reported by Luxembourg Wort – the Model S was unable to stop for a dummy car while traveling only 30 km/h (~19 mph). The agency released photos of the testing, but reportedly did not forward details of the test to Tesla. Additionally, the situation surrounding the test was surely vague and interesting.

Interestingly, this test was performed using a 2015 Tesla Model S with first-gen Autopilot hardware. Surely the model year of the car doesn’t explain why the test results were negative, but it’s an important detail to divulge. This is especially true since it’s a used car and the 2016 and 2017 Model S both received the top rating of ‘Superior’ for front crash prevention from the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The tests were performed in front of the media and also included a 2018 Volvo S90. An old used Tesla versus a brand new Volvo? This is an uneven situation to invite the media to report on. While the Tesla didn’t stop for the dummy car at the slow speed, the S90 stopped at 60 km/h (~37 mph).

Electrek reached out to Tesla for comment. The automaker explained that ILNAS hasn’t disclosed the testing details. So, Tesla can’t move forward in confirming whether or not the results are justified. A spokesperson shared (via Electrek):

ILNAS has refused to share the details of the test with us, including the test protocol, and therefore we’ve been unable to confirm that the test is valid or accurate. While we were not consulted by ILNAS in advance and only learned about the test through the media, we have obtained the vehicle identification number of the test car used and see it was built in 2015 and is registered as a rental car in Germany. We will continue to investigate to understand how the test was conducted and if it was done properly.

In related news, the Tesla Model 3 was recently tested by the IIHS as well. It also earned a Superior rating for front crash prevention. The sedan stopped successfully for the low-speed test (12 mph) and the high-speed test (25 mph).

Source: Electrek

Categories: Crashed EVs, Tesla


Leave a Reply

93 Comments on "Tesla Model S Fails Vague Auto Brake Test, Smashes Into Dummy Car"

newest oldest most voted

Tesla SHORT Stock Sale Still going On: Currently at 312. The 200 day moving average is 322. And this should reset higher during Q3 and Q4 if Tesla does report profitability. If course, you have to keep in mind the Chanos Smear campaign may effect the future price. The only way Chanos seems to know how to make money these days is with a smear campaign, and Wall Street media is more than wiling to take the money and run.

Chanos is going to “lose his shorts”, when Musk gets back from China later this week.

I hope Jim is “All In”, so to speak!

A Short squeeze is coming soon, and it may be all the way to the Moon!

This supposed brake test, will become known in the US, as the Tesla Euro scandal #Brakezeigt!

Have they released the protocols, for the test? 2105 versus a 2018 car??

What “protocols?”. Look at the photos. It’s the world’s simplest test. The Volvo passed and the Tesla didn’t. Open and shut, but Tesla’s PR department is writhing on the ground trying to draw a yellow card.

“Tesla’s PR department is writhing on the ground trying to draw a yellow card.”
And pulling a Neymar. Lol

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


And you still drive a Bolt..

“World’s simplest test.” A perfectly flat sheet of foam will barely register on radar (which a 2015 Tesla uses), but will show up on an optical system (which a 2018 Volvo uses). This test is custom designed for one to pass and the other to fail. Also, a 2015 Tesla had AP1, which uses MobileEye technology. I’d like to see this done with an AP2 Tesla, and with a target that has a proper radar signature similar to an actual car, before I’d call this “Open and Shut.”

Also, holding it in front of a press corps, and not sharing the specifics with Tesla first or after? Stinks like a pile of manure. Consumer Reports found a flaw with Model 3 braking, shared their findings with Tesla, and reran the test after Tesla came up with a fix in days. This is a hit piece, much like every word you type 7E

This Tesla uses MobileEye, just like the Volvo. Both also have radar. Apples to apples.

Fresh off the tree apples vs sitting on the ground for 3 years apples , at best. Even if Volvo uses MobileEye (I’ll take your word for it), and even if it is pure radar and no optical (I honestly don’t know), we’re still talking about a system that ceased development three years ago vs a system that’s had three more years of development cycle, both hardware and software.

why not compare 2018 to 2019 OR 2015 to 2015?

And lets see what happens when that volvo is going 100 miles an hour and a bag blows in front of it.

So in real life the Volvo would have slammed on the brakes for a non dangerous bit of polystyrene and possibly been rear ended whilst the Tesla wouldn’t ?

This was a test done by Volvo in 2015, I’m sure many people remember this one.
Volvo auto brake system fail

True. But other things that will barely register on radar are for example thin fiberglass sheets and also thin glass sheets. (Plastics and ceramics can be “radar transparent” typically). What would be a most interesting test if the cars’ radar systems would stop for a glass fiber light pole.

Photos tell nothing. There is a reason why auto brake tests are standardized. Radar based systems (which Tesla’s was) will not brake for items that do not reflect radar. There are also plenty of invalid tests done on Youtube, and they were also called out.

The standard test targets have reflectors inside which simulates a vehicle’s radar signature. They also make it so the back looks like a vehicle (for visual based systems). Without knowing the details of the test target it’s hard to say if the system did anything wrong.

I wonder if the autopilot would stop for a plate glass window in the middle of a road. I also wonder if it would stop for a wall of bubble wrap. I bet it detects a 6-inch curb without issues!

We can do it, so lets do it.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Smith, but your daughter was killed because she wasn’t wearing clothing with radar reflectors inside them. Next time, make sure she goes out wearing a t-shirt that looks like the back of a car.”

LOL – your Tesla cultists.

Nice try, but I hope you realize that people do reflect radar and have a distinct radar signature, and that radar based emergency brake systems can brake for them. Thus the Euro NCAP pedestrian test target is designed with a radar signature of a person.

Similarly visual based systems will also detect pedestrians. So pedestrian test targets (done in a separate test) are made to look and move like people.

But test targets with other materials that youtubers have used (like cardboard or styrofoam) do poorly as a substitute.

LOL. what frequencies were the radar’s at?
And how come no metal or plastic on the foam item?
And why compare 2015 tesla to 2018 volvo, with the press there?

Gut feeling says that tesla used a frequency that pass through foam.

So far as I know, all frequencies of radar pass right through foam, which is mostly air.

If Chris Stork is correct about the Volvo using an optically-based ABS, then that would explain the difference. Most ABS systems, including Tesla’s ABS, use Doppler radar for their sensors.

Note how the serial Tesla bashers are arguing as if the actual facts of the case are irrelevant. It sure would be nice if they were banned from our discussions. Imagine how much more interesting and meaningful discussion there would be if they were gone!

If all the serial Tesla bashers disappeared there would be no balance to any discussions.

It seems to me that there’s only two view points here, either you love Tesla or you hate Tesla. Both sides are just as deluded and hateful as each other, to the point it blinds most of them from reality. There’s very few people applying a balanced, common sense based attitude to anything.

Trolling doesn’t add real balance though, just noise.

Exactly. Arguing with a troll doesn’t add anything meaningful or informative to the discussion. It just generates heat but no light.

We can do it, so lets do it.

I don’t “hate” Tesla, I find it really, really weird that people become so personally invested in a product that they start losing objectivity. It’s sort of the ugliest side of a consumer culture that defines people by what they consume. If that ever described me, I’d be really, really embarrassed.

Yes, it’s irrational, human behaviour.

Inflammatory remarks do not help the situation in any way, though.

what do you consider a balanced POV WRT Tesla?

“It seems to me that there’s only two view points here, either you love Tesla or you hate Tesla. Both sides are just as deluded and hateful as each other…”

How can you possibly be a real EV supporter and not be a fan of Tesla? Tesla is the one company doing far more than any other to support and accelerate the EV revolution.

There is this bizarre Tesla hater meme, a Big Lie which has been repeated so often that people don’t question it, that people become fans of Tesla thru some cult-like attraction of Tesla’s PR. No: We became fans of Tesla because of what Tesla has actually accomplished in building and selling compelling EVs. Being a Tesla fan doesn’t prevent me from praising Jaguar for its exceptional BEV, the I-Pace. So your entire premise is flat wrong.

* * * * *

This website is for those who support the EV revolution and/or want to learn more about EVs, and not for trolling by serial Tesla bashers or other EV bashers. It’s like Nazis posting their hater screed to a Jewish community forum.

Tesla fans don’t troll; we have no need of trolling. So stop with the false equivalency arguments, already! 🙁

The flip side of this is that there are well documented groups of people who intentionally use attacks on Tesla as a proxy to attacking the whole EV industry in an attempt to somehow prove Tesla (and therefore all EV’s) are a failure. Insideev’s has documented these groups right here in the archives, and the anti-Tesla and anti-EV websites they have created.

I wasn’t accusing you of being a “fanboy” but you’ve done a good job of proving my point.

Your statement “How can you possibly be a real EV supporter and not be a fan of Tesla?” sums it up perfectly. You can add “Being a Tesla fan doesn’t prevent me from praising Jaguar for its exceptional BEV, the I-Pace” all you like, you’re still saying people mustn’t like EV’s if they don’t love Tesla. Believe it or not, but people are allowed their own opinions and ideas. Some people like EV’s but don’t like the way Tesla does it in the same way some people like ICE motors but might not like the way Ford does it. It’s all personal taste.

But you had to take it a step further and compare people who dislike Tesla to Nazi’s. Nice one for that. Real classy.

Well, unfortunately there *are* some Tesla fans who do troll… Though on this site at least, they seem to be far less active than the haters.

Dave100e — sorry you weren’t here before the avalanche of posters who have zero interest in EV’s came to invade a green car site by top-posting falsehood after falsehood. Discussions were quite balanced before. Unfortunately there is no ignoring multiple posters who carpet-bomb every single story with the obvious intention of spreading falsehoods and demolishing rational discussion.

(And no, it is a false “equality” to pretend that there are “good people on both sides”, Trump style.)

That’s okay, I guess it’s part of the way things are now. You see the same sort of behavior in all parts of society, from politics to YouTube videos and everything in between.

It’s easy for people to say to ignore it, but when you read an interesting story or feature and look to the comments for good discussion and all you can find is two groups of people arguing about how good/bad Tesla is its pretty hard to ignore. Even stories that have nothing to do with Tesla whatsoever normally end up in an argument about Tesla. It’s pretty sad.

I think you are talking about Automatic Emergency Braking? AEB… Did you notice in this video at 2 minutes, the 2018 Nissan Leaf clearly stops for stationary vehicle. This is modern Mobileye hardware on over 250 car models, and many semi trucks today.


Volvo truck


But, that is about as far as mobileye will be able to go. Because of their approach, they will never be able to solve the edge cases until they switch to AI, instead of simple rule based approaches.

All the while, Tesla’s with all the hype they can muster will keep running into barricades, and emergency vehicles. My point is just that most vehicles on the road feature AEB that works, what happened to Tesla?

Mobileye equipped vehicles can also park in a lot using lines on painted parking spots unlike Tesla that need cars to reference from…


“My point is just that most vehicles on the road feature AEB that works, what happened to Tesla?”

Your “point” is just more trollish FUD. Tesla’s AEB works every bit as well as AEB systems from other auto makers… and has the same limitations. But no matter how often we point out the Truth, you keep repeating the same B.S.

Here is some Truth:

Volvo’s semi-autonomous system, Pilot Assist, has the same shortcoming. Say the car in front of the Volvo changes lanes or turns off the road, leaving nothing between the Volvo and a stopped car. “Pilot Assist will ignore the stationary vehicle and instead accelerate to the stored speed,” Volvo’s manual reads, meaning the cruise speed the driver punched in. “The driver must then intervene and apply the brakes.” In other words, your Volvo won’t brake to avoid hitting a stopped car that suddenly appears up ahead. It might even accelerate towards it.


I love how you talk mad shyte about a company who’s vehicle(s) you allegedly own. Who’s the idiot, the person who invests their money in Tesla stock, or those who invest money in their product? (Maybe it’s me for engaging with you?)

In my opinion, this is biased journalism. You should not call it sketchy, if you know nothing about it. To english readers, the original article quotes the authority will do more tests with newer AP as well. But no matter what the circumstance, the car should have been able to brake. Even if the car is 3years old. Using your argument VW could have asked the same regarding emission tests “why do they test a 3years old car, how unfair, this is sketchy”. They need to have a look at the data why it failed and if there is a bigger issue with Teslas. We all know, they have trouble detecting stationary objects and there have been many incidents of Teslas not breaking prior to collision.


It seems like there are a lot of reasons to believe this test was sketchy.

What are those reasons?

-2015 rental car borrowed for test. Tesla not there to test sensors and cameras to make sure they are in working order. The Volvo on the other hand was brand new and covered in GoPro cameras. Why didn’t the Tesla have GoPro cameras aboard? Would they show that it was lined up to face mostly past the angled barrier? -Why did they pick only two cars for this test with one of them being an older Tesla that was from a rental company. There are tons of luxury cars with emergency braking systems yet they pick only these two and invite the media to the event which is never done from impartial standards testing companies. -Foam barrier from pictures and video show that it is slightly tilted away toward the crowd from the oncoming Tesla. The barrier is also flat and 2-dimensional unlike every other test carried out like this that has a foam barrier car with 3 full sides. The Tesla is lined up where the nose is mostly facing past this angled barrier. You can see this when it collides and only the very front right side of the nose hits the very far left side edge of… Read more »

And that’s just the fishy stuff we know about without having access to the test procedure, and before third parties can repeat the test procedure!!

They probably painted the test car fire truck red, how unfair!

Still, I’ll hold off judgement until I know more about this test. Still you are right, just because Tesla failed a test doesn’t mean the test was biased.

Volvo retaliation since during the 3 reveal Musk called out Volvo?

I wonder if subsequent OTA updates messed something up with AEB in older Teslas due to lack of thorough in-house testing before release.

In-house testing is redundant. “Fleet testing” is the new way forward. AP has only killed three so far.

Autopilot hasn’t killed anyone… it was the irresponsible owners not using the Advanced Driver Assistance Feature properly.

Tesla makes it very clear that this isn’t a self-driving system. VERY CLEAR.

So if owners want to take their life into their hand (by not being on the wheel and watching Harry Potter, or not being extra diligent at a section of highway that you have had repeated issues with autopilot performing at), then it’s darwinism at its finest.

“AP has only killed three so far.”

FUD rating: 10

You mean, AP has only failed to save three so far.

We can only imagine how many lives AP+AutoSteer is saving every week!

You allegedly drive a Model X, and by your assessment, a murder machine. Who’s the hypocrite?

Construction of the dummy obstacle is the more likely culprit here. Low density foam is not a great testing medium for a radar based system calibrated for objects composed of metal or flesh.

There is a metal sheet in these dummys. They mimic video, radar and lidar signature.

Yes that is normally the case, but we simply don’t know if this one did. That’s why people are complaining about this test, because there are few details given.

If they had released written test procedures we could confim exactly what was used. Since they refuse to release that info there is literally no way to know.

where is this documented?

Seems to me that the dummy car is off to one side in the Tesla test, but centred for the Volvo … biased? Yes.

This annoys me with the ACC in my current cars, if the car is driving far to one side of the lane sometimes it follows too closely so I find myself also going to one side to get the car to react appropriately.

Sounds like more inflatable car nonsense. RADAR GOES THROUGH CLOTH, IDIOTS.

There is a big metal sheet in that dummy to mimic the radar signature of cars. Dont publish bs if you have no idea of automotive tests. You can even hear that metal sheet getting hit in the original video.
These dummys are hightech to be compatible to video, lidar and radar, it isnt just simple foam and cloth as some of you might think.

1. The test (as above if you would READ it) gave no such details.
2. The previous test, of which there was a video, clearly showed it was CLOTH ONLY because the Tesla ran through it. There was no metal anything.
3. You don’t know what the test consisted of EITHER, so you have no standing to announce a “BS” post. Check your ego at the door.

If you are so certain show us the docs describing the construction of the target.

My Model 3’s system prevented a potential crash last week. I was driving 55mph and took my eyes off the road to look at some construction to the left of me. I heard a loud beeping and looked back to the road to find the truck in front of me had locked up his brakes because of an issue with the car in front of him. The beeping allowed me to hit my brakes in time. I don’t know what would have happened otherwise. I only looked away for a couple seconds for all of this to happen.

If you’re driving over 29mph, AEB only slows you by 25 mph before releasing the brakes. This assumes it sees the car (which it looks like it did in your case) and you don’t react in anyway such as hitting the brakes or steering. Source: Model 3 owner’s manual.

I’m guessing it doesn’t completely stop you because it doesn’t want to get rear-ended and the thinking is the hard braking should give the driver enough time to react and either steer or brake on their own.

Yeah, my car never applied the brakes, just rapid beeping.

Any “test” that lacks written protocols that are repeatable and confirmable by everyone who follows the same written test protocol isn’t a test. It is a stunt.

Here are what real tests look like, where every single detail of every test is fully documented, such that anybody could run the same test:


Agree… The NCAP testing (which the 2018 Nissan Leaf did well on) is much more controlled and structured and used many different scenarios.


Safety equipment should not only work in a specific test scenario.

Invalid tests are meaningless at predicting any real world situations. Passing or not passing an invalid test is meaningless.

They have failed to provide the doc required to show whether their test is valid or not. That is their burden

Let’s settle this with a real world test: see how many Teslas can avoid hitting a parked fire truck. That should be sufficient, right?

No, you need to compare it with other auto makers’ ABS systems, most of which are also not designed to detect stationary objects like parked fire trucks… just like Tesla’s ABS. (If Volvo uses an optically-based ABS, rather than Doppler radar based like almost everyone else including Tesla, then that may be less of a problem for Volvo’s cars.)

The problem isn’t that Tesla’s ABS isn’t as good as other auto makers’ ABS. The problem, I think, is that people expect Tesla’s ABS system to be much better than others, because Tesla’s cars are so much more advanced in many ways.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Tests should be repeatable. So why don’t you test the Firetruck scenario for us?

Oh, I forgot, you don’t even own an EV let alone a Tesla.
Try it in your ICE car.

You mean a Tesla, like the one you allegedly drive?

“Safety equipment should not only work in a specific test scenario.”

Please give us a list of all the safety equipment which will function in every possible case.

That’s going to be a very short list. 😉

NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis and Reporting System (FARS) analysis shows that seat belts and airbags have saved 100’s of thousands of lives. Yet there are still hundreds of people who have died in accidents that should have otherwise been survivable except odd corner cases where people died because of the seat belts and airbags.

Even safety windshield glass has caused deaths, despite saving many more lives. Where people used to bust through the windshield, only to have their throat cut down to the bone, or their stomach eviscerated to the spine and die, or be ejected from the vehicle and die on impact, now some people break their neck and die hitting the windshield.

It is statistically impossible to any safety system to operate 100% effectively 100% of the time.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I guess airbags that work only in an extremely specific test scenario doesn’t matter huh????

So, the Volvo came to the stop in the middle of an Interstate for a piece of cardboard? But the Tesla didn’t?

Not quite sure if it Tesla with the problem.

Right. So, Tesla cars won’t stop for a dummy made of styrofoam and cardboard. The question is if they should stop for such very low-mass obstacles.

Another Euro point of view

Luxembourg is where I live, here what they write about ILNAS:
“The Institut Luxembourgeois de la Normalisation, de l’Accréditation, de la Sécurité et qualité des produits et services (ILNAS) is a public service under the authority of the Minister in charge of the Economy”.
As it is a public service belonging to a small state with no car industry I doubt it is manipulated by the infamous “shorts” or by anything else. Now it is totally possible (if not likely) that the test protocol is screwed up, as I wrote above Luxembourg is a very small state and many public services have a bit of DIY approach to problems due to very small scale of the issues they have to solve.


Are you saying this isn’t even an organization that normally does automotive testing? That it is under the “Minister in charge of the Economy” instead?

That doesn’t make any sense. There must be something missing here. I thought the EU had harmonised automotive regulations under the EU, not individual nations?

Another Euro point of view

Indeed, agreed. I would look more into this but am only resident here with little interest for this very small country public bodies. Actually it functions a bit like some very rich Gulf state (Qatar etc…) meaning that the majority of its workforce is foreign with Luxembourg citizens often occupying very well paid and “comfortable” jobs in the administration. Therefor I am inclined to give little credit to this test as it could likely be that it was more of an entertainment for these people than actual work. So I have no clue what this organization does but quite certain to find there the local pharmacist’s son or daughter who failed university but still want the salary of a private banker.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

You would think that an agency of “Standards” would’ve tested the cars in the same years.
That’s not “Standard” that’s “Mythbusters” like.

I think I may have insulted the Mythbusters”.

Mythbusters had entertaining standards.

Don’t be a child. That is exactly the problem with tests that don’t provide the same sensor feedback as an actual child. The test results won’t accurately predict actual results if there actually was a child in the road.

Foam tests only predict the fate of other poor foam sheets left in the middle of the road.

Are you and your children made of foam?

This was meant as a response to a post above.

But to be clear, at this point the only children who are at risk based on this test are children made of foam, not any actual real children.

If your children are made of foam, be Concerned. Very Concerned. You should not let your foam children play in the street.

Very likely a hatchet job. They compared a 2015 tesla to a 2018 volvo.
What frequency are the 2 cars using for radar? It would not surprise me if Tesla’s freq does not see the foam.
If they put some metal/plastic behind the foam and then test, I would be interested to see what happens.
But offhand, this looks a lot like Europe pulling a hatchet job to help out Volvo.

It was done by TUV, so no hatchet job. And the target used looks like one of the standard targets used for this type of testing (and yes, they usaually have radar reflecting material). Other type is inflatable one.
So Tesla failed. Fact. But usually testters give data obout test to manufacturers to work out what happened.
I just had an Jag E-Pace fail such test while testing it. Jaguar rep was immediatelly notified, they have the car now and are investigating.

But: i can understand ILNAS/TUV not saying anything, as Tesla is notorously hard to reach in Europe. No offoce, no press ofice to speak of … Whay rented 2015 car? Probably the only one they could get. If Teslah had done it’s job, there’d be an office that could provide testers with proper, new, checked car.

Also: readi in ratocle that IIHS does low speed 12 mph and high speed 24 mph test. Serisously? Low speed for AEB should be about 20, high speed at least 50 (as is done by EuroNCAP) … PLus pedestrian detection.

Another thing that is interesting is that Tesla did not stop for something that radar passes through, like a floating garbage bag.
What happens at 100 mph with a number of cars behind a volvo and a garbage bag or even balloon is floated outwards?
I suspect that volvo will be responsible for a number of accidents and/or deaths.

Yup. The problem with false positives is a huge problem with ABS systems. It’s all very well to say “Well, the Tesla car should have braked even for this very low-mass dummy car”, but if the sensitivity of the ABS system was turned up too far, then the car would be constantly braking when it doesn’t need to. Making the car unusable is worse than no ABS at all.

ABS is not AEB. ABS is the system that stops your brakes locking up under extreme brake situations. AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking) is the one being discussed, it attempts to identify situations where your vehicle will run into something, so it will apply the brakes to prevent such a collision.

Interesting. I own a 2015 Model S. I have also had a nose tail accident when the car simply didn’t stop. I was traveling at about 30 kmh. Told Tesla but no action taken. Is there something more here? And yep I’m a card carrying member of the ‘Tesla will change the world’ club.

Still… unsafe is unsafe and needs fixing.

There are no reasons to think this test was sketchy from the article! From what I can see the test body is a government body. These types of bodies dont do their actual tests like this in front of media. They do stuff like this to show what they do or why a test is useful. In this case there was reference to a tie up with TuV in germany for future testing so probably just pr for that tie up, the article doesnt say. Anyway I doubt there is any data to send to tesla as I doubt it was set up as a test.

People read fake news more than real news! I heard this a Model S had 390,000 miles on its original brake pads!