How to increase your Tesla Safety Score

By Nuno Cristovao

If you've opted-in to Tesla's assessment of your driving behavior, then you're likely trying to get access to Tesla's FSD Beta. In order to do that you'll need as high of a score as possible. The higher the score, the sooner you'll be granted access to the FSD Beta.

How to increase your Tesla Safety Score

Tesla's very transparent about how your Safety Score is calculated. We'll share some information for each category Tesla is grading and also share some tips on how you can improve your score.

There are five categories that Tesla is actively measuring drivers against. It's important to be familiar with them, as not everything counts toward your Safety Score. Your performance in each category is measured to the median of Tesla's fleet.

Forward Collision Warnings (FCWs)

First, we have Forward Collision Warnings. This is the car giving you a warning that you're going at a high rate of speed relative to the distance you have to the object directly in front of you.

Tesla bases this off the ‘medium' setting in FCW. I'd recommend going to Autopilot > Forward Collision Warning and setting your personal alert level to ‘Early'. This way you'll be made aware of the potential collision before Tesla dings you for it.

There's not much to this one, except to keep your distance and slow down before you get too close to the vehicle or object in front of you.

Hard Braking

This is a tough one and the one I've struggled with the most. You'll want to very gradually slow down when coming to a stop. Quite a bit more than you'd likely think you need to. One harsh stop and you'll be dinged.

Tesla identifies hard braking as a backward acceleration greater than a g-force of 0.3. I personally love to take full advantage of the car's regenerative braking. So if I have a shorter distance to stop, I'll let my foot off the accelerator a little quicker to receive a higher level of regen, but doing so exceeds the 0.3g Tesla specifies and will set you back. Brake early and gradually to avoid any negative scores due to hard braking.

Aggressive Turning

Similar to harsh braking, Tesla is looking at the g-forces here when determining aggressive turning. If the lateral g-force exceeds 0.4g, then your score may be affected.

You'll want to make sure you're not going faster around turns. The tighter the turn, the slower you'll want to go.

Unsafe Following

This is the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. It's similar to Forward Collision Warnings in that you'll want to make sure you leave enough room to stop between you and the vehicle in front of you, but Unsafe Following is only calculated when you're traveling above 50 MPH. An easy way to avoid penalties here is to use Autopilot with a follow distance greater than 3.

Forced Autopilot Disengagement

This is the act of using Autopilot and having it become disengaged because you didn't heed the warnings of applying pressure to the steering wheel. Not applying enough resistance on the steering wheel will not affect you here, neither will the car beeping. It is only considered a forced disengagement if the vehicle asks you to apply resistance three times and then disables Autopilot for the remainder of the trip.

Keep in mind that Autopilot will also be disabled if you exceed 90 MPH for vehicles with radar or 80 MPH for vision-only vehicles, while on Autopilot.


Although, I don't personally encourage this tip, as we want everyone to be fair, there is currently a way of having your drive not count toward your Safety Score. If you do a soft reset before you park your car, the drive will not be registered and will not count toward your overall Safety Score. This will likely be fixed in a future update.

Each driving category is weighted differently. So having Autopilot disabled isn't the same as having an instance of harsh braking.

Here is how much each category negatively affects your score, from the worst offender to the least.

  • Forced Autopilot Disengagement
  • Hard Braking
  • Aggressive Turning
  • Unsafe Following
  • Forward Collision Warnings


While you're driving on Autopilot your score is not negatively affected, even if the car follows too closely or gets a FCW. Tesla simply ignores any bad driving if Autopilot is engaged. You may want to consider using Autopilot in more situations when you feel it's safe.

If you're using Autopilot on city streets, remember to disengage it with plenty of time before your turn so that you can slow down gradually before taking the turn.


Although acceleration or speeding do not negatively affect your score, it could result in sudden braking or Forward Collision Warnings, which would impact your Safety Score.

Other Metrics

Tesla collects a lot of information on how we use our cars. They use this information to improve features, roll out new ones and make their cars safer.

Although Tesla is showing us these five metrics that they're using to assess your Safety Score, Tesla could potentially use more information than just your Safety Score when choosing the next batch of beta testers. They're probably not looking for individuals who are driving 200 miles a day, or those that are rarely driving. You'll probably want to be in a sweet spot where you drive most days, but aren't taking long trips.

Tesla may also use information that is out of your control such as your geographical region or how long you've had your car.

Use Other Cars

If you're already driving your Tesla most days, don't take the chance of ruining a good score. If you're in a rush or already drove your Tesla today, consider taking a spouse's car when possible.

Save your Tesla for driving on familiar roads, roads where you know when a sharp turn may be coming up or where stop signs are. Use your Tesla when you have the extra time to take it slow and really focus on the road.

Lastly, be safe. We all want a high Safety Score, but at the end of the day we all need to come home in one piece.

If you're looking to figure out how many miles you'll need to drive to reach a specific score, such as 99, I strongly recommend using our Safety Score Calculator that will give you exactly that answer. After adding your data, you can choose a target score and know exactly how much more you'll need to drive to achieve your goal.

A Closer Look at Tesla's Ambient Lighting Feature in the New Model 3 and Cybertruck [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3

If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.

Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.

Supported Models

Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.

The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.


Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3

The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.

You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.

While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.

It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.

Future Enhancements

With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.

Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.

Ambient Lighting in Action

While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.

Tesla Model 3 'Highland' Performance Details Discovered in European Documents

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades

Tesla outdid itself with the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland. Despite all the fantastic upgrades, something is missing - the Performance version or perhaps the Plaid. The letter "T" has shown up on vehicle certificates in Europe, and despite Elon Musk's sense of humor, it is unlikely this is a Mr. T reference.

Deciphering the 'T'

A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
eivissacopter / X

Diligent scrutiny of the European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW and shared on the TFF Forum, revealed a subtle yet pivotal alteration — including the letter 'T' in the eighth digit of the Model 3 Performance's VIN.

This seemingly minor detail, indicative of the vehicle's motor/drive unit type, sparked curiosity and speculation on the forum. Could it be a tri-motor setup to usher in a new Plaid version of the Model 3? This vehicle has already got endless amounts of zip, but three motors? May The Schwartz Be With You!

This could also explain the Model 3+ badging that was spotted during the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China inspection of the refresh. However, the regulatory filings highlighted just two distinct variants of the car: a rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a 194 kW motor and an all-wheel drive (AWD) dual-motor setup that combines to deliver a formidable 331 kW of maximum power.

Initial conjectures leaned towards the possibility of a tri-motor setup, drawing parallels with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. However, a deeper dive into the certification document clarified that the Model 3 Performance retained its Dual Motor setup, dispelling the possibility of a tri-motor upgrade.

Strategic Enhancements: A Glimpse into Potential Upgrades

Given the documented specifications, it becomes plausible that Tesla has strategically enhanced one of the dual motors, potentially aligning it with the advanced motor found in the Model S/X Plaid. This modification is poised to augment the top-end speed and acceleration of the Model 3 Performance, addressing its comparative limitations in extended races against traditional gas-powered supercars.

Meanwhile, the Model 3 refresh has become the new Bigfoot of the roads of North America, with rare sightings posted on social media. However, it appears the continent is excluded from the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland. Internal communications within Tesla suggest North American enthusiasts might have to exercise patience until 2024.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


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