Tesla can now scan for potholes and adjust vehicle suspension to avoid damage

Underbody damage a thing of the past?

Tesla’s latest software update includes a cool-sounding feature that could prevent a lot of underbody damage — and perhaps some driver damage too, Electrek reports. According to release notes, the update (2022.20) will enable Tesla vehicles to scan the road ahead of potholes and adjust the suspension to account for rough roads.

Tesla owners can activate the new feature by selecting “Comfort” under the Adaptive Suspension Damping setting. But the new feature may be dependent on where the vehicle is being driven — meaning it may not be available for every pothole and road crack. “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 according to Not a Tesla App.

Notably, the software update is not applicable to Autopilot or Full Self-Driving, meaning the vehicle won’t try to steer around or avoid road damage. Elon Musk has said that Tesla is working on a deterrence system using 3D labeling to create pothole maps — but apparently that feature is still under development. Still, automatic suspension adjustments are nothing to sneer at. This could prevent a lot of vehicle damage that could otherwise be unavoidable for drivers.

The update also includes a green light chime to help combat driver distraction. We’ve all been trapped behind some idiot who’s paying more attention to their phone than the traffic signal ahead. This new feature may help eliminate incidents of road rage, or at least reduce the likelihood that you’ll get honked at by motorists waiting behind you.

Electrek notes that the green light feature will only work with vehicles that are equipped with the hardware 3.0 computer, also known as the self-driving computer. “This chime is only designed as a notification,” the notes add. “It is the driver’s responsibility to observe their environment and make decisions accordingly.”

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