Tesla has introduced a software update that allows its vehicles to scan for potholes, broken pavement and other defects, Electrek has reported. It can then use that to generate “rough road map data,” and trigger the adaptive suspension in supported vehicles to adjust the ride height for more comfort.
Back in 2020, Musk tweeted that such a feature was coming, and this appears to be the first step. “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. That means pothole and other data should become increasingly refined as Tesla vehicles ply the roads.
The ride adjustment will only work in Tesla Model S and Model X cars with adaptive suspensions, Elektrek notes. It’s 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.
To enable the feature you’ll need the latest update 2022.20, then you tap “Controls > Suspension > Adaptive Suspension Damping, and select the Comfort or Auto setting,” Tesla notes, adding that “the instrument cluster will continue to indicate when the suspension is raised for comfort.”
Tesla isn’t the first automaker to think up pothole scanning technology. Some manufacturers like Ford have proposed features that even detect individual potholes and instantly damp the suspension, for example. Tesla’s system could be far more practical, though, by simply softening the ride parameters over known patches of rough road.