Tesla's electric vehicles might be known for their impressive range and executive looks, but founder Elon Musk is always keen to emphasize their impressive safety standards too. After picking up an unprecedented 5.4 stars on the US' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) inspection last year, the company's Model S sedan has received an equally glowing score in Europe. Many cars have got full marks in European safety tests this year, but it's less common for them to pick up the same score both in Europe and the US, where testing procedures differ.
The Model S' unique design gives Tesla an advantage. With no engine under the hood, it has a large "crumple zone" at the front and a low center of gravity (thanks to a floor-mounted battery) for avoiding rollovers. But that doesn't mean Musk and co. will stop there. As part of Tesla's grand "D" unveiling last month (an all-wheel-drive version of the Model S), the company announced new safety features and "Autopilot" hardware that includes 12 ultrasonic sensors, a forward-looking camera and radar, and digitally-controlled electric brake booster. It also promises to deliver blind spot, forward and side collision warnings, as well as automatic emergency braking as part of a future software update.