And it didn't require a single hardware update.
Tesla's implementation of technology to improve the vehicle ownership experience continues to impress, and it has now found a novel way of improving ride comfort in the Model S sedan and the Model X crossover. In a post shared on Twitter, the EV maker explained how anonymized fleet data can help it garner information about the road conditions in specific areas.
Essentially, when enough Teslas detect a rough patch of road, the Model S and X - both of which come with a standard adaptive air suspension - can automatically raise the ride height to compensate for the harsh road surface. In turn, this lessens the level of harshness experienced by occupants. That's good news for two cars that were already excellent highway cruisers.
Tesla's predictive air suspension differs from that of the Mercedes S-Class, which is available with the proactive E-Active Body Control that scans the road ahead via cameras and makes adjustments as needed.
Because the cheaper Model 3 and Model Y come with a more basic suspension setup, they don't have the same capabilities as the larger Teslas. However, since Tesla mentioned extracting data from the "entire" Tesla fleet, it seems that these cheaper models could actually contribute to a smoother ride for the larger Model S and Model X.
Other than the use of fleet data to manipulate suspension settings, Tesla has been unusually busy updating several models beyond mere software enhancements. A new Ultra Red paint was recently added for the Model X and S; remarkably, this is the first new paint color for these models in seven years. A new glass roof that weighs less and upgraded brakes for the high-performance Plaid models were also introduced.
Finally, Tesla added a new round steering wheel option for customers who haven't warmed to the controversial yoke. These changes follow a series of price cuts for the Teslas in 2023, with the Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid now coming in at under $110,000, making them significantly more affordable than they were just a few months ago.
The Model S and Model X are Tesla's oldest current vehicles, with the former debuting in 2012 and the latter going on sale in 2015. These are unusually long life cycles, so it becomes even more important for Tesla to keep updating them. The company's recent Investment Day failed to raise hopes for any new models, and the Cybertruck remains elusive.
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