Tesla has just released a new software update for its range of EVs. The update is actually quite handy for drivers, and the car itself. Certain Tesla models will now be able to detect potholes and adjust their suspension in reaction. This could potentially save a lot of damage to the car, and the driver too. Now if only South Africa could get in on this sort of thing – but we guess cars can’t fly, yet.
Not that it matters to South Africans, except one or two importers, but drivers are able to turn the setting on under the Adaptive Suspension Dampening setting, and select ‘Comfort’ mode. The new software update only applies to Model S and Model X Teslas — it’s not magically going to install adaptive suspension into cars that don’t include it.
In other words, when there are potholes incoming, the software update raises the car so there’s less risk of body damage. Automagically. And, when the hazard has passed, it lowers again. There are limits, though. Updated cars will only perform the feat on certain roads. Specifically, roads that plenty of Teslas already occupy. This is because internal cameras generate map data as they drive, including the road surface. This information is then shared with other Tesla models. This is how updated Model S and X cars will detect a rough road ahead. If there is no map data (or not enough for a specific road), the car will rely on the drivers’ skills to avoid potholes.
For now, self-driving Teslas won’t avoid potholes on their own, but an update is being worked on, according to Elon Musk. He says that eventually a deterrence system will be released. The update will apparently create pothole maps using 3D labeling, though there’s no timeframe for that.
Let’s just imagine how this feature would work in South Africa. Would it work? Well, we don’t know. South Africa is still Tesla-less. Still… potholes are a blight on every South African driver. It’s not improving, so why not have some fun with it. Imagine seeing a Tesla attempting to navigate its way around South Africa.
Getting that green light
There was also another smaller feature added to Tesla models in the same update – a green light chime. Everybody knows folks who stare at their phones instead of driving. Well, the green light chime warns drivers when the light has turned green. Shocker. Still, this nifty update will counteract daydreamers on the roads. It’ll save wear and tear on car hooters too.
It also warns drivers when a car in front of them moves after a long stationary period. You may be caught in a traffic jam, resigned to immobility. When the car ahead moves, the Tesla’s little nudge should snap you back to reality. Just… don’t expect it to work in a parking lot. Far less useful.
Source: The Verge