Cutting corners: A new prototype of the Tesla Cybertruck was captured in drone footage last week, prompting Elon Musk to criticize the concessions his company has made to make the vehicle street legal. Its enormous windshield, which is taller than it is wide, apparently requires a ludicrously long wiper to keep the rain off. A rough estimate would place its length at four or maybe five feet.
It’s not quite clear if the Cybertruck’s wiper is a standard tilting wiper, or if it’s an “electromagnetic wiper” that moves side to side. Tesla’s original patent for the latter describes it as being able to fold down onto the bonnet when not in use, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for this prototype.
In a tweet, Elon Musk said that there was “no easy solution.” He described a wiper that can be deployed from the front trunk as ideal, but probably too “complex.” Some alternatives were brought up on Twitter but they were deemed too expensive.
The Cybertruck is meant to be one of Tesla’s more affordable vehicles. When announced, the single-motor version was priced at $39,900, the dual-motor at $49,900, and the tri-motor at $69,900. It’s now unclear if a single-motor version will arrive at all, but the base model is still expected to start at under $50,000.
In the drone footage, uploaded to YouTube, the Cybertruck does laps of Tesla’s test track in Fremont for about fifteen minutes, starting at 2:20. It slows down and shows its side to the camera at 5:20 and shows its front to the camera at 8:10.
A less dramatic concession to practicality is the presence of side mirrors. There has been some discussion around changing the law to allow for more vehicles to use cameras and screens in the place of mirrors, but not much has eventuated from it.
The Cybertruck is scheduled to enter production late next year, with the first round of deliveries expected either this time next year or early 2023.