The updated Tesla Model 3, which is also known as “Highland” because of its internal development codename, comes with a good list of improvements over its predecessor, including a more upmarket interior, a quieter ride, and a slightly different exterior design.
But now we’ve learned that the refreshed EV also gets some extra passive safety features, such as an “Active Bonnet” that’s meant to reduce injuries to pedestrians’ heads in an accident.
First spotted by Tesla enthusiast @tesla_adri on X (via Teslarati), who got delivery of his very own Model 3 “Highland” a couple of days ago, judging by his latest posts, the safety extra also made an appearance in the European user manual for the updated EV.
The document says that the rear part of the bonnet automatically raises by about 80 millimetres (3.1 inches) if the car detects an impact with a pedestrian while driving between 30 and 52 kilometres per hour (18.6–32.3 miles per hour). By doing so, the bonnet acts as a sort of metallic cushion for the human’s head and reduces the likelihood of injuries.
The manual adds that if “Active Bonnet” has been deployed, the touchscreen displays an alert, and a chime sounds. If this happens, the car must be taken to the nearest Tesla Service Centre or Tesla-approved body shop to get the bonnet back into place.
This passive safety feature has been previously available on the Model S and Model X, but only in select markets. With this latest update, though, it seems like Tesla is giving all new Model 3s the same goodies, irrespective of the market they’re heading to, at least in Europe.
Gallery: Tesla Model 3 Facelift
But the new “Active Bonnet” isn’t the only sort-of-invisible safety feature added to the updated electric saloon, as @tesla_adri found out on his own EV. Besides the automatically raising bonnet, the facelifted Model 3 has metal hooks on the lower part of the doors that help to keep them aligned in a crash.
Another passive safety feature is the so-called “Driver Drowsiness Warning,” which uses the cabin-facing camera fitted above the rear-view mirror to count how often the driver yawns or blinks and issues a warning on the central touchscreen and an audible alert.
The refreshed Model 3 isn’t available yet in the United States, but it will eventually make its way there, too, judging by the uncamouflaged prototypes roaming around California. When deliveries finally start in North America, we expect to see the same features as found in the European version, including the “Active Bonnet”.