In a recent Twitter comment, Elon Musk pointed out that a lot of work is being done on Tesla’s air suspension height and damping algorithm. These systems, according to Musk, will tie into the Full Self-Driving suite, with air suspension and damping settings automatically adjusted while a vehicle is in operation.
Musk’s comments are quite interesting given that the only air-suspended vehicles in Tesla’s existing lineup are the Model S and Model X, which represent a fairly small share of the company’s overall production. The majority of vehicles Tesla produces today consist of the Model 3 and Model Y, both at more affordable prices and suitable for the mass market. Both are also equipped with spring suspension configurations.
Speculation abounds that Tesla would eventually add a smart air suspension option for the Model 3 and Model Y, and the parts even hit the all-electric sedan’s parts catalog at one point. However, Elon Musk has been pretty firm on the idea that the two mainstream vehicles will not receive an air suspension option.
Given recent comments from the CEO of Tesla, it seems a little odd that Tesla is devoting a large portion of its resources to systems that will only be used by a small fraction of its fleet. With that in mind, Musk’s recent tweet seems to hint at two potential scenarios: one, that the Model 3 and Model Y will end up getting air suspension at some point in the future, or two, the height and the Tesla’s FSD-based air suspension damping systems would be a key feature of the upcoming Cybertruck.
The Cybertruck offers a number of new features that make it an attractive vehicle for pickup truck buyers. One of them is its smart suspension function, which was demonstrated during the Cybertruck’s unveiling. Smart suspension isn’t all about utility either, as the function, similar to how it’s used for the S and X models, could also be used to make rides smoother and more comfortable.
Such a system could very well make the Cybertruck one of the most comfortable vans on the market. Modern pickup trucks are comfortable enough, with vehicles like the RAM 1500 lineup even rivaling SUVs and crossovers in terms of ride quality. Tesla could differentiate the Cybertruck from the competition, however, by using its technology to give the massive all-electric steel pickup an edge.
Using FSD to automatically adjust the Cybertruck’s smart suspension settings could very well be that edge. Despite their refinements today, after all, very few pickup trucks could automatically change their ride height to optimize the ride quality of their passengers. Tesla would likely ship the Cybertruck with the base autopilot included, after all, and full autonomous driving would likely be more mature by the time the all-electric pickup begins its deliveries to customers.