Overnight a new video by YouTube user Chile AI100 has provided our best look at the updates to Cybertruck yet. The drone video starts out as a fairly mundane flyover of the Fremont car park, with dozens of new Tesla’s waiting for delivery.
We see the drone pass make its way over to the test track, where we first see a refreshed Model S cutting laps. That was until the drone pilot realised there was something special at the track today.
The refreshed Cybertruck was just sitting there, out in the open, for all to see. Since the Cybertruck was unveiled back in November 2019, we’ve seen a few sightings online, but the most recent ones which captured updates like 4-wheel steering, have been poor quality.
Thankfully today’s video comes to us in 4K quality which allows us the best look so far at the changes Tesla are making to the Cybertruck. So here’s what we learnt today from the new sighting.
While the Cybertruck is all about straight edges, it does appear this new revision features a slight curvature to the front windshield, most evident by the way the two pieces of glass meets each other at the peak of the Cybertruck. This curvature may aid in strength and have some aerodynamic efficiencies, whatever the case, given the size of that piece of glass, it would not be cheap to replace.
Massive windscreen wiper
In a problem essentially created by Tesla’s Cybertruck design, the windscreen surface is so large on this vehicle, that conventional dual-arm wipers simply won’t get the job done. While the prototype had no wiper at all, we know this had to come eventually before production.
Right now it seems, that Tesla are at least trialling the idea of having a single, massive wiper that would push sideways across the glass, rather than sweep on an arc, like traditional wipers. The critical aspect of this design is that it needs to firstly remove the rain fast enough to enable visibility for the driver in heavy rain, but importantly also clears water from obscuring the Autopilot cameras at the top of the glass.
While we don’t get to see this in action today, Tesla has filed patents in the past that detail how could work, so perhaps they’re getting closer to making that a reality as the Cybertruck approach production next year.
Another aspect of the prototype that was missing at unveiling, but is now present, is mirrors. These are required by law in many locations, however, Elon Musk says these are able be removed by the customer in some jurisdictions. Before you get any ideas, that doesn’t include Australia, although it’s unlikely we’ll see the Cybertruck here for some time, given we’re still waiting for Model Y and Model S and X refresh just got delayed.
Ultimately mirrors will create drag, and cause a hit to range. Without them, you’ll likely rely on the side repeater cameras looking backwards down each side of the vehicle. On the Cybertruck, these are nicely integrated into the front wheel arches.
For the majority of the video, we did see the mirrors folded back, which could indicate some testing of drag, caused by the addition of the mirrors, but we also get to see them folded out in one small segment of the video. With the backs of the mirrors feature angles to match with the design aesthetic, I think they’re a fairly well-resolved design and don’t ruin what otherwise is a very unique, fairly futuristic overall look.
One of the easiest things to change, today’s Cybertruck featured conventional rims, rather than the futuristic, armoured exterior we’ve seen previously. The final rim design (or covers) may still be in development and may not have been relevant to today’s testing around the track.
No door handles
We’ve known this has been coming for a while, but we finally have good visuals of the Cybertruck and no door handles. Immediately this raises the question of how you’ll get the door open to enter the vehicle. It is understood that Tesla will use either Bluetooth triangulation to determine when an owner with the Tesla app setup as a key, walks near the driver’s side door and it would pop open automatically.
Musk has also made reference to using computer vision to recognise the owner and open the door. Practically this may use facial recognition from the camera in the B-pillar to unlock the truck.
Black bed liner
New in this iteration of the Cybertruck, we see the bed is now black, which is a significant difference from the stainless bed seen previously. This makes sense and will likely be more rugged, more scratch-resistant and ready to accept any load you throw at it.
What you don’t expect to see is blue tape on the side of the vehicle. This is obviously temporary and is focused around the right front-left quarter panel. My take is that it is being used to securely route ad-hoc cabling between this new wiper and laptops inside the cabin.
At the Cybertruck launch, many Tesla fans were able to experience the acceleration with rides that night. There were many comments made about the stark dash, which features a marble look to it and when asked about it, one of the Tesla drivers explained it was made from paper. I think this was one of the more confusing parts of the design and we now see in today’s video, a much more production-style dash, more conventional and black in colour, as opposed to the light marble finish seen previously.
There may still be some interior options to choose from with the Cybertruck, but we’ll only know that once the online configurator goes live in 2022 for customers.
Lights (Rip Lightbar?)
One of the more Cyberpunky attributes of the Cybertruck was that full-width light bar that extended across the top of the windscreen. Unfortunately, we don’t see that on today’s updated Cybertruck, instead there’s more traditionally located lights in the front bar which again would be required by law.
What is interesting is the 3 red lights in the centre. It’s not obvious what these would be used for. If you have ideas, let us know in the comments.
When it comes to the rear lights, we do get to see them as the regen braking kicks in, ahead of the banked turn at the end of the straight, At least for now, just the brake lights on the left and right extremes of the Cybertruck’s rear end, not the full-width light light bar that may indeed still come on the production vehicle.
You can check out the video, shot on a DJI Mavic 3, below.