Tesla's Latest Design Changes

Tesla's Latest Design Changes


Elon Musk responded to new drone footage of a prototype Tesla Cybertruck being tested on the company's track in Fremont, California, by addressing the vehicle's absurdly enormous windshield wiper.

When the Cybertruck was first introduced in 2019, its huge, flat windshield, which blended perfectly into the hood, was one of the electric truck's most distinguishing characteristics. However, as indicated by the first prototype's lack of a working windshield wiper, Tesla's design team didn't even consider keeping a clean windshield.

But, as the truck approaches production, we're starting to see the compromises Tesla will have to make in order to handle the Cybertruck's divisive design, one of which is the necessity for an enormous windshield wiper. And, in typical Musk form, he is openly expressing his dissatisfaction with the compromises.

Musk responded on Twitter about the oversized wiper: “The wiper is what troubles me most. No easy solution. Deployable wiper that stows in front trunk would be ideal, but complex.”

The Cybertruck's "Big Wiper"

The Cybertruck, which isn't expected to launch until 2022, is intended to have armor glass, which Tesla's senior designer Franz von Holzhausen famously cracked two of the vehicle's windows onstage with a metal ball during the onstage demo.

Musk also mentioned that while side-view mirrors are required by law, owners are free to change their vehicles thereafter. Whether that means mounting cameras on the side mirrors, as seen in some concept automobiles, or removing them entirely.

A rounder, less angular front end and a new set of headlights behind the forward-facing light bar were also seen on the Cybertruck photographed on Tesla's test track, compared to the first prototype. During Tesla's next earnings call in January, Musk has promised to provide an update on the company's product roadmap.


The New Superhorn

New hardware components, such as a new all-in-one "Superhorn" that combines a horn, alarm, and loudspeaker, could be included to Tesla's future Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in 2022. A leaked document on the German-language Tesla forum TFF exposed this functionality and others.

The document's specified component changes appear to be intended for European regulators' scrutiny. Tesla does not always match new features to model years as closely as other manufacturers do. In April 2019, for example, the business began installing its new full self-driving computer (HW3) in automobiles. Then, in September of that year, an external speaker was added to Model 3 bumpers (to conform with legislation that EVs have to be equipped with a pedestrian warning system).

Tesla's Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS), which generates noises to warn nearby inattentive pedestrians, included an external speaker add-on (due to electric vehicles being relatively quiet compared to internal combustion engine vehicles). The firm, which is known for its oddities, eventually added more sounds, such as goat bleats and fart sounds, that blast from the exterior speaker after blowing the horn.

The new part will replace the present system, which is described as a "Superhorn (3-in-1 horn, alarm, speaker) AVAS version," which references to the car's use of fewer speaker elements. The component may have a single speaker or a group of speakers that can play the Sentry Mode alert, AVAS noises, and horn.


Other Changes

The Model 3 and Model Y will also ditch their legacy lead-acid batteries in favor of 15.5V lithium-ion equivalents, according to the list on the forum (along with refreshed accessories like a new windshield pump compatible with the new voltage). Tesla made a similar adjustment to the new Model S and Model X for 2021. A new cabin radar and infrared camera for Model Y, laminated rear door windows, and a new infotainment computer are among the other noticeable modifications.

New Cabin Radar

Tesla is developing a new motion-detection sensor that might detect a child left in a heated vehicle. The company is requesting permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to market the technology, which would employ unlicensed millimeter-wave radar sensors capable of operating at higher power levels than currently permitted.

The device might "lower the risk of pediatric vehicular heatstroke, protect vehicle occupants from injury through accelerated airbag activation and seatbelt reminders, and strengthen theft prevention systems," according to Tesla's application.