Elon Musk’s snow driving tips for Tesla Autopilot were recently tested on the open road. If the results of a brief real-world test are any indication, it appears that some hydrophobic coating for Autopilot cameras and some Never Wet Top Coat for the front radar are all owners need for a comfortable drive in the snow.
Tesla owner-enthusiast Chris from YouTube channel Dirty Tesla is very familiar with the challenges of driving in the show with Autopilot. In one of Chris' previous drives, his Model 3’s cameras were covered in so much snow that the vehicle could not operate its driver-assist features anymore.
Anything that doesn’t result in a smudgy image on lens cover glass. If you get a two part hydrophobic coating, probably better just to use first part.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2020
In a recent tweet, Elon Musk has stated that a layer of hydrophobic coating should help keep Autopilot cameras clean in Teslas, at least enough for a smooth drive. Tesla’s website also advises that owners use a Rust-Oleum Never Wet Top Coat for the front fascia of the car to keep the radar clear of any slush or snow.
With these tips in mind, Chris opted to test just how well a hydrophobic coating and some top coat works on his Model 3 cameras and radar. With these done, the Model 3 owner opted to do some real-world snow driving tests on his vehicle. The results were quite impressive.
Immediately after the drive, the vehicle’s rear camera looked like it was soaked in water; however, it did not hinder the Model 3’s Autopilot function in any way. There was also a brief period when the all-electric sedan’s side camera issued a warning, but it was quickly resolved. Overall, the Model 3 was able to perform pretty well with its treated cameras and radar, even when it was using its Navigate on Autopilot feature on the freeway.
Based on the results of Dirty Tesla’s test, it appears that Elon Musk’s Autopilot snow driving tips are indeed effective, especially considering that hydrophobic coating products and a Never Wet top coat could be acquired for less than $50. So the extra cost for the treatment is definitely worth it. They do--at least--provide a comfortable drive when conditions turn frigid.
Teslas drive pretty well in the snow. Despite the vehicles being developed in sunny California, Tesla’s electric cars are extensively tested for cold weather conditions, both in the real world and in specific winter facilities in Canada and Alaska, respectively. This is one of the reasons Teslas are particularly popular in snowy countries such as the Netherlands and Norway, which are known for cold weather.
Featured Image Credit: DirtyTesla/YouTubeFollow @PurplePanda88