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Tesla’s Model 3 may be 10x safer than regular cars, analyst claims

Published Mar 23rd, 2017 8:00PM EDT
Model 3 Safety
Image: Tesla

A new research note from Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas claims that Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 will provide a level of safety that other car manufacturers will simply be unable to match. Hardly a shocking assertion, Tesla has been obsessed with driver safety for years now. Tesla’s Model S, for example, was famously the first car to receive a 5-star safety rating across every single category when it was tested by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2013.

While the Model S’ initial safety prowess was largely a function of its resilient industrial design, the dynamics of road safety have transformed quite a bit over the last few years, thanks in large part to advancements many car companies have made in the realm of autonomous software. Indeed, Jonas intimates that the Autopilot software that will ship with the Model 3 will make it hard for competing companies to keep up.

In remarks originally noted by Electrek, Jonas goes so far as to say that the Model 3 will be 10x safer than most other cars on the road.

“We think the Model 3 will feature hardware and software that provide a level of active safety that could significantly lead all other cars on sale today and could, if the company achieves its goal, be an order of magnitude (i.e. 10x) safer than the average car on the road,” Jonas explained. “According to nearly every OEM we talk to, safety is the number 1 determinant of car purchases. Look for safety to be the “ah-hah!” moment for this car due to launch this year.”

In another excerpt obtained by SeekingAlpha, Jonas writes that Tesla’s Autopilot software will provide drivers with a “superhuman assist” with respect to safety on the road.

Tesla, not surprisingly, has been just as effusive when touting the benefits of its Autopilot software. Last year, for example, Elon Musk said that the risk of having an accident in a Tesla car with Autopilot engaged was 50% lower relative to other vehicles.

“The probability of having an accident is 50% lower if you have Autopilot on,” Musk said. “Even with our first version. So we can see basically what’s the average number of kilometers to an accident – accident defined by airbag deployment. Even with this early version, it’s almost twice as good as a person.”

While Musk is certainly prone to hyperbole, it’s worth noting that a NHTSA report from earlier this year found that Tesla’s Autopilot software helped reduce the incidence of accidents by 40%.


Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.