Tesla releases Autopilot software update to better use regenerative braking for greater efficiency

Tesla has started rolling out a new software update that allows Autopilot to make better use of regenerative braking. This should translate to greater efficiency and a smoother experience in stop-and-go traffic, where the autopilot really comes in handy.

Regenerative braking is one of the most interesting aspects of electric vehicles. An average electric powertrain is already far more efficient than even the best internal combustion engines, but the gap can be widened even further with clever use of regenerative braking.

Automakers have incorporated technology in various ways to control the force of regenerative braking, which involves harnessing energy while slowing a vehicle to help charge the battery by harnessing an electric motor’s ability to turn into a generator. .

Tesla is known for having one of the most aggressive regenerative braking systems, but it has the lowest level of customization. The automaker previously only had two options – standard and low – but it removed them in 2020 to have only the default standard.

New EV drivers may need some time to adjust to more powerful regenerative braking, which may even allow single-pedal driving, as the car can sometimes come to a complete stop fairly quickly simply by pulling back. the foot of the accelerator.

For Tesla, Autopilot adds another layer to regenerative braking since it is controlled automatically when using the traffic-aware cruise control feature. Autopilot uses both regenerative braking and regular brake pads, but it can still improve balance for efficiency.

Now, Tesla has started releasing a new software update (2022.4) that improves that balance to use more regenerative braking at lower speeds.

The automaker wrote in the release notes:

Regenerative braking on autopilot

Autopilot will now use more regenerative braking at low speeds for greater efficiency and an improved driving experience, especially in traffic jams. Increased use of regenerative braking reduces brake pedal noise and smoother stops.

The software update is now starting to roll out to the fleet, but it can take days or even weeks to fully propagate.

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