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Tesla EVs can now scan the road for potholes and adjust suspension height

Tesla has introduced a software update that allows its vehicles to scan for potholes, broken pavement and other faults, Electrek reported. It can then use this to generate “rough road map data” and trigger the adaptive suspension in supported vehicles to adjust ride height for more comfort.

In 2020, Musk tweeted that such a feature was coming, and it seems like the first step. “This adjustment may occur in various locations, subject to availability, as the vehicle downloads approximate street map data generated by Tesla cars,” the release notes state. That means potholes and other data should get more and more refined as Tesla vehicles hit the roads.

Drive tuning will only work in Tesla Model S and Model X cars with adaptive suspensions, Elektrek Remarks. It’s unclear whether Model 3 or Y vehicles also scan for rough roads, even though they don’t have the adaptive suspension to benefit from the data. The Model 3 and Model S both have eight cameras in total.

To enable the feature, you’ll need the latest 2022.20 update, then you tap “Controls > Suspension > Adaptive Suspension Damping, and select the Comfort or Auto setting,” Tesla notes, adding that “the group of instruments will continue to indicate when the suspension is raised for comfort.”

Tesla isn’t the first automaker to come up with pothole detection technology. Some manufacturers like Ford have offered features that even detect individual potholes and instantly dampen the suspension, for example. Tesla’s system could be much more practical, however, by simply smoothing out the driving parameters over known patches of rough road.

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