The Tesla Model S and Model X already recognize potholes in the road (and the idea is to avoid them)

If there is one good thing about software updates, it is that they allow you to add new functions that you did not have when you bought the car. In one of the latest updates from Tesla, the American firm has incorporated a new functionality so that its cars are capable of scanning the asphalt of the road and recognizing potholes, adjusting the suspension accordingly. But this is not all.

In the 2022.20 software update, Tesla has added a function that will allow it to “read” the asphalt of the road, being able to recognize potholes and adapt the suspension to overcome them more comfortably. This function will only be available on models with adaptive air suspensionthat is, in the Tesla Model S and Model X. The largest models of the brand.

The set of cameras and radars that the Teslas carry already allows in a certain way to recognize the road to make semi-autonomous driving possible. Now a step has been taken, with the aim of improving the comfort of the occupants, but also to avoid damage to the suspension and not only that… Because the next step is to combine this new function with Autopilot.

To achieve full autonomous driving, the system in question would have to be able to deal with a wide range of different scenarios, including different weather conditions and different road conditions – not only in terms of traffic, but also in terms of road surfaces. Elon Musk said in 2020 that Tesla’s Autopilot would end up detecting potholes and creating mini-maps to remember and avoid them, and although that point has not yet been reached, this is the first step in that direction.

The idea is that Teslas with adaptive suspension can anticipate bumps in the road, adapt the suspension to get through it in the best possible way, and that in the future can remember and dodge them autonomously -whenever conditions allow it-. Logically, it is not about making a sharp turn but a slight correction in the direction, without leaving the lane, as any human attentive to the road surface would do if he does not want to go through an abrupt pothole.

For the time being, however, what the adaptive suspension will do is adjust ride height when approaching a road in poor condition or with an uneven surface. This adjustment will be made automatically in different locations as the vehicle downloads the data from the map of roads with irregular pavement obtained by the entire fleet of Tesla vehicles that roll on the road.

This function is activated through the main central screen, within the Controls menu -> Suspension -> Adaptive Damping. The instrument cluster will continue to indicate when the suspension is raised for added comfort. To activate this feature, touch Controls > Suspension > Adaptive Suspension Damping, and select the Comfort or Auto setting.

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