You'll never run out of tire tread again.
Tesla's over-the-air (OTA) updates have revolutionized the way the manufacturer maintains and upgrades the features on its products, and makes life much easier for customers, who no longer have to visit a dealership in order to get the latest software updates. Tesla is constantly streaming software improvements to its cars, and back in August, tons of old Tesla models, including Model S vehicles from as far back as 2012, and Model X cars from 2015 onward received major updates. A lot of the time, these upgrades affect safety systems such as Tesla's controversial Autopilot self-driving system, and a recent update tried to fix some flaws in the Yoke steering wheel system. The latest new feature comes with the 2021.44.5 software update: your Tesla can now read tread wear patterns and tell you when it's time to replace your tires.
Drive Tesla Canada discovered the new feature this week. Basically, your Tesla will now be able to tell you if your tires are wearing unevenly, or if your tread depth is too low. According to the photos sent to the blog by a Tesla owner, the error message lights up on the central display stating an issue with your tires and recommends scheduling a service appointment with Tesla to inspect, rotate, and possibly replace the affected tires. Many are asking how it is possible for the car to know how worn the tires are, and the answer is simple: the car uses a measurement of how fast your wheel is spinning.
When your tires start losing thread, the wheel gets physically smaller and lighter, and starts to rotate at a higher speed. The onboard sensors can pick up how many times the wheel rotates in a given time, and can then compare that to a new wheel. A faster rotating wheel equates to low tread wear. One wheel rotating faster than another will also cause uneven tire wear, which the car can pick up using the same logic. The new feature will surely end up saving some lives, or at least some bucks, but some owners have already started reporting false readings. Still, we'd rather have the new tech on board, even if it isn't the most accurate of systems.