We are two weeks in since Tesla released the safety score. And since then, people have been talking about how to improve your score. Many, like myself, thought that we needed to improve the individual scoring factors. But I’m going to tell you, it’s a lot simpler than that. And Tesla laid it out for us.
Let’s look at the FAQ that Tesla released. The FAQ states that:
I know a lot of people didn’t understand this. On Twitter, I’ve seen people plugging in their scores on the daily simulator and not understand why their scores don’t match the simulator. I have also seen people talking about improving each of the 5 scoring factors separately in hopes that will bring their score back to 100. I’m going to tell you now that you don’t need to drive in circles around your neighborhood on “manual” mode. It’s also not very efficient.
Let’s go back to the FAQ. The first part states that your daily score is not impacted by the number of miles or hours you drive. This is purely based on those 5 factors. This is where the simulator is helpful. Say you get dinged for hard braking; you can use the simulator to determine what you need to get back to 100. Here you can go around and do some braking exercises to bring the score back up. But this is for your daily score.
When it comes to the aggregate score, we have to look at the second piece. Tesla states that they “combine your daily Safety Scores (up to 30 days) into a mileage-weighted average.” So what does that mean? To understand this, you need to know what a weighted average means. The weighted average is a calculation that takes into account the varying degrees of importance of the numbers in a data set. In our case, the score for the day is weighted by the miles you drive.
So what does that mean? It means that if you have a high score but drove fewer miles, that could potentially be worth less than a low score with high miles. For example, if I drove 5 miles and got a score of 100, that should be weighted less than a 10-mile drive where I have a score of 95! Because I drove more with a score of 95, that will affect my overall score more.
The weight, in our scenario, is the mileage. Our daily score is the data set that we want to measure against. When we multiple mileage by our score, we get our weighted score. Now that we have a weighted score for each day, we can figure out our aggregate score. So what we want to do is take the sum of our weighted scores and divide that by the sum of our weights, which is our total mileage. Notice, we didn’t incorporate the individual scoring factors. They are irrelevant.
Now that begs to question, how do you improve your score? If you had a bad day, the only way to improve it is to drive more. Using this formula, you can calculate how many miles you need to get to your desired score. You can do it all in one day, or you can break it down into multiple days with high scores. Essentially you want to dilute the weighted bad score with weighted scores that are higher.
You can actually do this calculation fairly quickly using Excel or Google Sheets. I have a Google Sheets template that you can use. You can plug in the miles and the scores for each day to get your current average. Then you can play around with the numbers from there.
One thing to note, we only care about the last 30 days. This is a rolling 30-day score. That means on the 31st day, your 1st day is no longer used in the calculation. On the 32nd day, your 2nd day is no longer used. We only care about the last 30 days. If you didn’t get 100 and looking to improve your score to get beta, I hope this will help you out! All you need to do is now is drive! Doesn’t matter if you are on AP or not. So get out there and be safe! Till next time!