Questionable Model S Autopilot Braking Test Failure Has Tesla Crying Foul

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Tesla has been fighting the media over the past few months as it has struggled to reach production milestones with the Model 3 mainstream electric sedan. Along the way, it has battled bad press surrounding Autopilot failures, and CEO Elon Musk has even questioned the journalistic integrity of some publications in what he sees as an "conspiracy" against Tesla.

Now, a new result from the Luxembourg Testing and standardization authority (ILNAS) has Tesla screaming bloody murder about biased testing procedures. The testing and standards body put a 2015 model year Model S, which is equipped with Tesla's first-generation Autopilot system, up against a brand-new Volvo S90 with its own suite of state-of-the-art collision mitigation systems. Further skewing the results were the fact that the Model S was pulled from a rental car fleet for the test.

In the test, the Model S approached a "dummy" vehicle (while traveling at 30 kph) that was stopped in the middle of the road. However, for whatever reason, its sensors did not detect the stationary object and ran right into it. The S90, on the other hand, aced the test both at 30 kph and at a much higher 60 kph.

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Given its hostile attitude towards negative attention, it should come as no surprise that Tesla has fired back at the results. For one, it takes issue with the fact that ILNAS invited members of the press to watch the event, but Tesla didn't find out about the result until those same publications began running negative stories.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the Autopilot auto-braking capabilities of the 2016 and 2017 Model S EVs have been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) where they earned a "Superior" ranking. The newish Model 3 also has achieved the Superior rating by the IIHS.

"ILNAS has refused to share the details of the test with us, including the test protocol, and therefore we’ve been unable to confirm that the test is valid or accurate," wrote Tesla in a statement to Electrek. "We will continue to investigate to understand how the test was conducted and if it was done properly.“

News of the ILNAS braking SNAFU comes just days after Elon Musk went on a Twitter rampage about negative press:

Needless to say, the ILNAS probably won’t be on Musk’s Christmas card list this year.