Tesla Will Save Drivers Money By Judging Their Driving

Electric Vehicles / Comments

For insurance purposes.

Tesla is interested in your every move. Whether you're using one of its cars in autopilot mode, checking your safety score and just parking in an interesting spot, the company knows what you and the people around you are doing. In fairness, we're being spied on all the time anyway by our phones, social media and Nest cams, so we can just add Tesla's new thing to the list.

Tesla already has its own insurance product in California, but this week in a shareholders meeting CEO Elon Musk said the company would expand its insurance into the Lone Star State, home of its latest factory, and make adjustments to that insurance based on the owner's "real-time driving behavior" safety score.

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"Unlike other telematics or usage-based insurance products, Tesla does not require an additional device to be installed in your vehicle. Tesla uses specific features within the vehicle to evaluate your premium based on your actual driving. You will make monthly payments based on your driving behavior instead of traditional factors like credit, age, gender, claim history and driving records used by other insurance providers," said Tesla in a statement.

Tesla says it won't use age or gender, or whether you've had any accidents in your Model S, 3, X or Y to calculate your insurance premium. But it will take into account forward-collision warnings per 1,000 miles, hard braking, aggressive turning, unsafe following distance and forced autopilot disengagement.

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The company also says it expects average drivers to save between 20-40%, and that the safest scores could save 30-60%, which is impressive. It even laid out examples of how a driver could go from a $121/month premium to an $83/month premium by upping their safety score gradually.

This is the same safety score that's allowing Tesla customers to be the first to test its full self-driving beta system. It rolled out 1,000 autopilot software systems to drivers that kept their score at 100 for two weeks. We'll give Musk this: if he can dangle new features like FSD and cheaper insurance for people to drive safer, show less accidents and dicey moves, and then can report that back to people, government agencies and journalists, then he would have a nice little self-perpetuating loop made for himself. He's nothing if not innovative.

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