Tesla Model S breaks testing machine, is now the safest car ever crash-tested by NHTSA

nhtsa clarifies tesla model s crash test results
Tesla Model S crash test aftermath. The car scored the highest of any vehicle tested by the NHTSA

The Tesla Model S has impressed me at virtually every turn. Despite its good looks and impressive performance, I was not expecting the Model S to be one of the safest cars on the road. I figured it’d do well, sure, but I never expected it to become the safest car ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), scoring a 5 out of 5 in every single test.

This is significant. During crash testing, only one percent of all cars achieve a 5-star rating. Even if a car scores substantially higher than its competitors, as the Model S did, the NHTSA does not award a score higher than 5 stars. When the NHTSA reveals its final scoring to the automaker, however, a score higher than 5 is actually possible. The Model S scored a 5.4 – out of 5.

I think the Tesla press release said it best: “Of all vehicles tested, including every major make and model approved for sale in the United States, the Model S set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants.”

In front-end collisions, the Model S out-shined its competition thanks to its large impact zone. Unlike internal combustion-powered cars, the front end of the Model S is a secondary trunk, as its motor is mounted in the rear. This allows for far more crash force absorption and distribution.

In the side pole intrusion test, the Model S was the only car to receive a “good” rating. In this test, compared to the highly rated Volvo S60, the Model S “preserved 63.5 percent of driver residual space versus 7.8 percent for the Volvo.”

The Model S also did exceptionally well in rear collisions, as Tesla installs a double bumper.

Most impressive of all, I think, was the rollover test. The NHTSA could not get the Model S to roll over. The testing team had to devise a way just to get the vehicle to roll over. When it did, the Model S scored 50 percent better than the next highest scored vehicles. Then, when the NHTSA tried to test the roof crush protection, the Model S broke the machine. The roof crushing machine gave out at 4 Gs.

Tesla was also quick to note that none of its lithium-ion battery packs has ever caught fire – ever.

So there you have it. In the past, if you wanted to keep your family safe above all, you’d buy a Volvo or an Acura. Now, it looks like the Model S takes the safety cake.

Emerging Tech

U.S. police are testing out Batman-style bola guns to catch criminals

U.S. police are taking a page out of Batman’s playbook with a new grappling hook gun, called the BolaWrap, which fires out a kevlar cord able to tie up assailants in the blink of an eye.
Outdoors

Puma is looking for volunteers to test its self-lacing sports shoe

Puma unveiled its high-tech self-lacing shoe at the start of the year, and now it's looking for volunteers from around the world to try it out and offer feedback so it can finalize the design prior to launch.
Smart Home

Alexa, Google, Siri put their bilingual skills to the test in translation battle

One Hour Translation, an online translation company, compared how Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Siri stack up against one another in regard to translation capabilities. The results may surprise you.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Cars

Kia’s HabaNiro concept is an autonomous electric car that knows when you’re sad

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Kia HabaNiro concept is supposed to preview the future of the everyday car. That future will include artificial intelligence tech that can read the driver's emotions, according to Kia.
Cars

Mercedes-Benz gives the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.
Cars

Would you buy the Tarok compact pickup truck? Volkswagen wants to know

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup truck concept will make its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The truck first appeared at the 2018 Sao Paulo Auto Show, and VW wants to see what U.S. buyers think of it.
Cars

Sick of civilization? Volkswagen’s Atlas Basecamp concept lets you get away

Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Basecamp concept ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Built for overlanding, this family-hauler was upgraded jointly by Volkswagen and aftermarket manufacturers.
Cars

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.
Cars

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.