If you’ve driven a car in Canada, you know that potholes become a major issue when travelling during winter. The constant freezing and thawing of the road surface weakens the paving, ultimately causing it to collapse into a pothole.
One common talking point amongst those who think autonomous vehicles will never be a reality is because of small features on roads like potholes. Now Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed on Twitter that in the future, Tesla vehicles will share information with each other in order to avoid things like potholes.
Responding to a user on Twitter, Musk replied “Yes” when asked if Tesla could use micro maps of road features, like potholes and stop signs, that are generated by Tesla vehicles having driven the same road before you.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2020
Having your car know where potholes are while on Autopilot would be a big win for Tesla and its goal of autonomous vehicles. Driving at even moderate speeds and hitting a pothole, especially with the 19″ and larger rims offered on most Tesla vehicles, can cause thousands of dollars in damage if tires are popped and rims damaged beyond repair.
Potholes are a major problem in Canada, especially in big cities like Toronto. Just last month, the City of Toronto repaired an estimate 15,500 potholes, and hoped to repair another 5,000 more in a one-day blitz this week.
Last year, the city estimated they repaired 50,000 potholes, costing between $4-5 million annually (via Global).