In a new software update, Tesla confirmed that its vehicles are now scanning rough roads such as potholes to help avoid them damaging the vehicle by adjusting the suspension. In order to achieve fully autonomous driving, a system must be able to handle a wide range of different situations – including different weather and road conditions.
These conditions such as potholes are sometimes difficult for human drivers to handle, and some believe it is impossible for Autopilot to properly navigate them. Tesla is using its large fleet of customers equipped with Autopilot hardware to capture data on these corner conditions and teach its neural network to handle them.
Back in 2020, company CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla Autopilot would eventually be able to detect potholes and create mini-maps to remember them and help cars avoid them.
Two years later, Tesla Autopilot isn’t quite there yet, but people do now see the first confirmation – Tesla’s fleet is looking for them or more “rough roads.
In the new 2022.20 software update, the automaker wrote in the release notes about a new feature of the “Tesla Adaptive Suspension” system.
Tesla Adaptive Suspension will now adjust ride height for upcoming rough roads. This adjustment may occur at different locations as the vehicle downloads Tesla vehicle-generated rough road map data, depending on conditions.
This is the first confirmation of a Tesla fleet scanning the road to assess its condition.
For now, this is not about Autopilot or Fully Automated Driving (FSD) beta navigation on those rough roads, but rather Tesla adjusting the suspension for those conditions.
Tesla has provided instructions on how to activate the feature.
The instrument cluster will continue to show what happens when the suspension is raised for comfort. To enable this feature, click on Control > Suspension > Adaptive Suspension Damping and select either the Comfort or Auto setting.
Obviously, this feature is only available on Tesla vehicles with adaptive suspensions such as the new Model S and Model X.