With its launch in 2012, Model S set the standard for Tesla vehicle safety: a rigid safety cell, large front and rear crumple zones, and fortified battery pack. It also set a new bar for the automotive industry—in 2014, it was one of the few vehicles to achieve a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and 5 stars in every NHTSA category.

At Tesla, we have a dual approach to safety engineering, which develops passive and active safety systems in parallel, creating an architecture aimed at both reducing the effects of an accident and helping to avoid it in the first place.

Relentless Improvement

Since its release, we’ve continued to make iterative improvements to Model S safety systems. This is due in part to safety test protocols rightfully becoming more stringent year over year, as well as our relentless pursuit of our goal to engineer the safest vehicles on the road. Rather than official yearly releases, we opt to make safety improvements as soon as they are available through updated manufacturing and engineering changes in new vehicles, and through over-the-air updates to existing fleet vehicles. This ensures every customer receives the latest and greatest safety features available throughout our lineup.

Revisiting Euro NCAP

Last year, our safety improvement efforts culminated in the release of a new Model S. Following its release, Euro NCAP again reviewed Model S, this time against its newest, most stringent 2020-2022 testing protocol focused on evaluating the vehicle’s ability to protect adults, children and vulnerable road users, as well as its proficiency in crash avoidance and other safety assistance features.

Following this test, Model S again received a 5-star safety rating and the highest Overall Score among any vehicle tested in this protocol. It also performed exceptionally well in more detailed tests across the board:

98% in Safety Assist.

91% in Child Occupant Protection.

94% in Adult Occupant Protection.

Maximum points awarded in Far-Side Impact subsection.

Maximum points awarded in Rescue, Extraction and Post-Crash Safety subsection.

As noted above, Model S received a score of 98% in the Euro NCAP’s 2022 Safety Assist category, which evaluates the effectiveness of software features in helping to reduce the risk of an accident. This score was achieved with Tesla Vision, our camera vision and neural-net processing system that now comes standard and free of charge in all Tesla vehicles.

Model S—and Plaid in particular—is designed to be the most fun you can have in a car: the fastest acceleration, console-grade in-car gaming, sublime sound and more; however, safety comes before all of that—it’s always our first feature.

With Model S, we aimed to deliver a step-change improvement in safety worthy of an all-new flagship vehicle. And as is the case with all Tesla vehicles, we will continue to make incremental improvements in safety through over-the-air software updates.

While not yet rated, all safety features mentioned above are also available with the new Model X. Deliveries of both vehicles will begin in Europe before the end of the year. Model Y also received a 5-star Euro NCAP rating this year.