Electric vehicle maker, Tesla, has released a software update that give its vehicles the ability to avoid potholes.
The newly released update include features that could prevent Tesla vehicles from going through a lot of underbody damages, and also protect the driver from getting hurt in the process of getting into jagged roads.
According to the release notes, the update (2022.20) will give Tesla vehicles the ability to scan the road ahead for potholes, broken pavement, and other defects, and adjust the suspension to respond to the topography of the rough roads.
Tesla owners can activate the new feature by selecting “Comfort” from the “Adaptive Suspension Damping” setting. While the new feature may sound really cool, the availability and response by the vehicle may be dependent on where the vehicle is being driven. This means that the feature may not be available for every pothole and road crack.
“This adjustment may occur at various locations, subject to availability, as the vehicle downloads rough road map data generated by Tesla cars,” the release notes state according to Not a Tesla App.
With the feature getting used, more pothole data will be collected, and Tesla vehicles ply the roads, and this will help vehicles manoeuvre the potholes more efficiently.
Back in 2020, Musk posted a tweet hinting the coming of such feature, and this appears to be the first step.
According to Elektrek, the ride adjustment feature will only work in Tesla Model S, and Model X cars with adaptive suspensions. It is, however, not clear if the Model 3 or Y vehicles also scan for rough roads, even if they lack the adaptive suspension to benefit from the data. Both the Model 3, and the Model S have eight cameras in total.
The release note also noted that the software update is not applicable to Autopilot or Full Self-Driving, this means that the vehicle will not try to steer around or avoid road damage.
Tesla boss, Elon Musk has said that Tesla is working on a deterrence system using 3D labeling to create pothole maps. The system, however, is still under development. The automatic suspension adjustments are nothing to sneer at, as it could prevent a lot of vehicle damage that could otherwise be unavoidable for drivers.
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Also included in the update is a green light chime that is meant to help combat driver distraction. In the case when a driver is distracted by the phone while held by the red light, this green light feature will notify the driver when the light goes green. This new feature was made to help eliminate incidents of road rage, or at least reduce the likelihood that drivers will get honked when the light goes green.
Elektrek noted that the green light feature is will only work with vehicles that are equipped with the hardware 3.0 computer, also known as the self-driving computer.
“This chime is only designed as a notification. It is the driver’s responsibility to observe their environment and make decisions accordingly,” the release note reads.