Tesla begins rollout of pothole and rough road detection in latest software update

Tesla pothole

Tesla rolled out its latest software update, 2022.20, over the weekend, and brought with it a feature that has been requested and teased as eventually coming to all vehicles. However, the feature will be limited in its abilities for now, and only available on the Model S and Model X.

In early 2020 Elon Musk said that Tesla vehicles would be able to create “micro map” of local road specific details, like potholes or areas of road with rough pavement. The idea was that this data would then be able to be shared with other Tesla vehicles so that when they travel down the same road, they can avoid the potholes and other obstacles.

We later saw the first hints of this in early releases of Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta where road debris was detected and visualized on the in-car display.

Now Tesla has officially rolled out the first phase of the feature in the 2022.20 software update. According to the release notes, Tesla vehicles are now scanning and generating “road map data” to be shared with the rest of the fleet.

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Tesla says when this data has been downloaded, the adaptive air suspension in the Model S and Model X may automatically raise to avoid an “upcoming rough road section.”

Based on the wording of the release notes, it appears as though all Tesla vehicles are generating the rough road data, but only the flagship Model S and Model X with adaptive suspension can take advantage of it, for now.

Presumably in a later update Tesla will roll out the feature to the rest of the fleet, but since a software update can’t add adaptive suspension, the Model 3 and Model Y will only be able to detect and if possible, maneuver around the rough road.

The 2022.20 software update also added two other features – the Green Light Chime for all vehicles, as well as seatbelt improvements using data from Tesla Vision. You can read the full release notes here.

Tesla Adaptive Suspension

Tesla Adaptive Suspension will now adjust ride height for an upcoming rough road section. This adjustment may occur at various locations, subject to availability, as the vehicle downloads rough road map data generated by Tesla cars. The instrument cluster will continue to indicate when the suspension is raised for comfort. To enable this feature, tap Controls > Suspension > Adaptive Suspension Damping, and select Comfort or Auto setting.

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Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca