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.

Tips

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

Autopilot

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.

Acceleration

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.

Cybertruck to be waterproof and serve as a boat briefly, may also appear in Cyberpunk 2077

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

Cybertruck deliveries will start next year, but if you can't wait that long, you may want to head for Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 has teased that the highly anticipated vehicle in the real world may appear in the popular video game. But, if that's not enough, Elon Musk announced another exciting and unique feature for the futuristic-looking truck - it will be waterproof.

Let's start with the floating Cybertruck, which should not be a shock to anyone following the Tesla CEO. He bought the Lotus Esprit that James Bond used to jump off a pier and transform into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me. He purchased the movie prop for just under $1 million in 2013 and told USA Today, "I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

In 2016 he tweeted that the Model S "floats well enough to be a boat," but he did not recommend trying it. Now he has claimed the Cybertruck could be used as a boat — briefly. Musk tweeted: Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren't too choppy.

Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

In a later tweet, he gave some idea of the distance he has in mind: Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel.

Twitter user @Erdayastronaut shed some light on why Musk would be singling out that area and distance. The tweet reads: "One of SpaceX's biggest problems is attracting talent to work at Starbase, which is extremely remote. South Padre is an awesome place to live, but it's almost an hour drive to Starbase despite being only 5 miles from Starbase because of the shipping channel." A quick check of Google Maps demonstrates what the user is describing.

South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
Google

Musk's tweet also caught the attention of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Officials there seem to be a little concerned about the wording. The official account tweeted: Our derelict vessel crews are begging you to understand that anything that "serves briefly as a boat" should not be used as a boat.

CD Projekt RED also noticed Musk's tweet, and the makers of Cyberpunk used the opportunity to show two concepts of the Cybertruck as it would appear in Night City. Musk and Cyberpunk have had an ongoing relationship for a few years. Most recently, he demonstrated the power of the onboard computer's gaming system by playing Cyberpunk in a Tesla. However, CD Projekt RED did not mention if the Cybertruck in Cyberpunk would float.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable in the new Model S

Tesla hints at 'Reverse Summon' being available this year

Future Feature
By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website'
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website
Tesla

Tesla's team of Autopilot engineers is validating significant advancements to Full Self Driving Beta, including parking lot improvements. While Smart Summon and Reverse Summon were not specifically mentioned during the 3.5-hour AI Day 2022 event, parking lots were discussed, and Elon Musk gave a timeline of when enhancements are expected.

Reverse Summon or 'Park Seek' as Tesla appears to be calling it, is the opposite of Smart Summon. Whereas Smart Summon drives to you from a parking spot, users who activate Reverse Summon would have their Tesla drop them off at a location, perhaps closest to the entrance of a mall, and then find a parking spot. This feature was described by Musk on July 1, 2020, when he gave it a two to a four-month timeline.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s director of the Autopilot program, started the FSD portion of AI Day, saying, “FSD beta software is quite capable of driving the car. It should be able to navigate from parking lot to parking lot, city street driving, stopping for traffic lights and stops signs, negotiating with objects at intersections, making turns and so on.”

Several team members described how FSD has advanced and soon will be an integrated stack, meaning one code base that includes everything the program needs to navigate the car in a parking lot or on a busy highway. Musk is currently using this new stack, “it works quite well for me, but we need to validate it in all kinds of weather, like heavy rain, snow, dust and make sure it is working better than the production stack across a wide range of environments.”

Paril Jain, the Manager of Autopilot Motion Planning, expanded on what else will be included in the integrated stack, “we do expect to also include the parking lot stack as a part of the FSD stack before the end of this year. So, that will basically bring us to you sitting in the car in the parking lot and drive till the end of the parking lot, at a parking spot, before the end of this year.”

It has been previously reported that Reverse Summon would have three different modes to find parking spots that the owner prefers. The methods would include closest to the entrance, nearby a cart return, and the end of the parking lot for those who like to avoid tight spots that cause door dings. Musk said that the integrated stack is on track for release before the end of the year and maybe as early as November.

Tesla has also updated it's website to reflect this news, although no timeframe is given. The Autopilot section of Tesla's site now has a section titled "To your Destination." The description reads "When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you."

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

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Subscribe

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