Tesla cars can now scan for potholes and adjust the suspension for optimal damping

The concept of upgrading via software update is already familiar to Tesla owners, with cars long out of the factory gate regularly receiving new features that the company’s engineers may not have even thought of initially.

For example, Tesla cars can learn how to drive better in autonomous mode, or how to use the car’s horn in speakerphone mode, or for custom alarm tones along the lines of a phone ringtone.

Likely arousing the jealousy of drivers on the nation’s roads, the newest addition promises to make Tesla cars “float” over potholes, adjusting suspension height and firmness over time to compensate for both road handling and any bumps that might lead to tire or alloy rim damage.

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Implemented by software, but using hardware already on board the car, the new adaptive suspension function makes use of a high-performance computer and highly accurate proximity sensors to generate a map of potholes on the roads you frequently drive over. So the car ‘learns’ the specifics of the road you’re driving on and will automatically adjust the suspension height and firmness to an optimum level, without you having to visit the suspension setup menu to make the settings manually.

Obviously, manually setting the suspension firmness/height is still justified when you’re planning a slightly longer trip on a new route, which you know will include sections of rough asphalt. Surely, Tesla won’t be long in collectively using the centralized “experience” from drivers who have upgraded their vehicles to the latest firmware version, so that suspension optimization can be done for road segments you haven’t driven on before by simply downloading a map of potholes documented by other drivers. Ideally, the same information would also reach the relevant authorities, highlighting road segments that should be paved/repaired as a priority.

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To take advantage of the new functionality, Tesla owners simply need to update their vehicles to software version 2022.20, then check Comfort or Auto mode under the Controls > Suspension > Adaptive Suspension Damping section of the setup menu.

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