Cybertruck Air Suspension Shown in Videos

By Kevin Armstrong
The Cybertruck will include an air suspension
The Cybertruck will include an air suspension
CybertruckOwnersClub

Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted a short video showing the vehicle he will soon be driving — the Cybertruck. This unique vehicle has already been the star of the show when it appeared on The Simpsons, but it also got to be in the spotlight during the opening of Tesla’s newest facility. Millions of people have viewed Musk’s eight-second video (below).

However, it doesn’t give us any further details on the highly anticipated vehicle. While Musk’s video only showed off the futuristic headlights, a trio of other videos confirms that the suspension will be incredible.

Cybertruck Gets Air

As previously speculated when a video surfaced showing the four-wheel steering system, Cybertruck will have an advanced air suspension system. The Kilowatts were outside the new Tesla Engineering Headquarters in Palo Alto when Cybertruck made its way up a small embankment. The stainless-steel vehicle is considerably higher, showing a lot of clearance between the tires and the wheel wells.

A few days ago, a distorted video was shared by Trucky on the Cybertruck Owners Club forum showing Cybertruck on the move at Giga Texas. Trucky later posted a nice clear video of a walk around the Cybertruck, again revealing the body significantly off the massive wheels. It’s unknown how much the Cybertruck can adjust the suspension. The Model X can have a ground clearance as low as 5.4 inches or as high as 8.1 inches.

Where is the Wiper?

You can’t tell from the Musk video, but the video posted by Trucky shows us that the giant windshield wiper was not on the Cybertruck that was on display at the new facility. However, the wiper may have just been removed for demonstration purposes. In fact, Musk has talked about a removable wiper blade as an option but said it would be complex.

Musk's New Daily Driver

There are millions of Cybertruck reservations, and on that list is Musk, of course. During the fourth quarter earning calls, he said, “it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day… it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."

Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, recently admitted that Cybertruck was almost “normal” as the design team looked at what’s currently available. But they decided to go with something unique, “we have an opportunity to do something different, an opportunity that nobody else would have the balls to do, and Elon's like yeah, we've got to do it," said von Holzhausen.  

Production of Cybertruck is expected to begin this summer, with the full ramp-up to start in 2024.

Tesla Vehicles Spotted With LiDAR: What Do They Use It For?

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently hit the news for purchasing approximately $2M in LiDAR sensors from Luminar, one of Tesla’s long-term suppliers. You’ve probably seen photos of Tesla’s Semi and various Tesla models, including the Model 3 and Model Y sporting LIDAR equipment on the roof. These cars drive around with manufacturer plates scanning streets and highways.

However, many people confuse Tesla’s purpose in purchasing LiDAR equipment with using it for FSD versus testing. So, let’s look at what LiDAR is, and why Tesla uses it on its Fleet Validation Vehicles.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detecting and Ranging – essentially using lasers to measure distances. A laser pulse is sent out, and the time it takes to return is measured – providing extremely accurate distance measurements.

Some companies working on self-driving vehicles, including Waymo and BYD, use LiDAR as part of their self-driving suites, but Tesla is one of the few stand-outs that does not. Even Rimac’s “Verne” Robotaxi – which uses self-driving technology from Mobileye, also uses LiDAR.

While LiDAR can produce extremely accurate and high-quality 3D environments, it comes with its downsides as well. Not only is LiDAR costly and requires large gear strapped to a vehicle, but it also can not be used in bad weather and can have interference issues if there are other strong light sources present.

Why Does Tesla Use LiDAR?

A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
Not a Tesla App

At Autonomy Day in 2019, Elon Musk mentioned that LiDAR isn’t the solution for self-driving cars – it's just a crutch. Thus, Tesla hasn’t used LiDAR for any production self-driving software.

Instead, Tesla uses it exactly how it's described – they use it to gather ground-truth data. This data is then used to feed Tesla’s Full Self Driving system – which helps validate its vision-only system's accuracy. LiDAR provides very accurate measurements to help ensure that FSD’s perception of space is accurate – and is only used by Tesla to ensure that its AI technology which is the brains of FSD is capable of accurately interpreting depth from just visual data.

Tesla’s vision-only system has been seen to be extremely accurate, with Vision-only Autopark being able to park in even narrower and tighter spaces faster than the previous version that relied on ultrasonic sensors.

We’ll likely continue to see Tesla purchase LiDAR systems, as well as use them for validation well into the future.

Tesla's Upcoming Robotaxi Event in August Delayed, According to Bloomberg

By Karan Singh
Sugar Design

In a report from Bloomberg, it is claimed that Tesla will be delaying its much-anticipated 8/8 Robotaxi event by two months to October 2024.

While sources other than Bloomberg haven't confirmed this report, Bloomberg has a positive track record of reporting on financial decisions. We’ll be sure to update the article if there is confirmation on X from Elon Musk or another Tesla senior official.

Tesla’s stock has dropped nearly 8.5% over the day, ending back-to-back gains over the last two weeks. It closed yesterday at $ 241 after hitting a peak of $270 earlier in the day before the news broke.

Why the Delay?

The delay – of approximately two months – has been communicated internally, but not publicly announced just yet. Bloomberg goes on to mention that the design team was told to rework certain elements of the Cybercab, necessitating the delay.

If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it sounds like Tesla’s unveil event will be largely focused on showing off the vehicle, instead of demoing how it will work. Of course, it could still be both, but given past events, Tesla has always shown off the vehicle years before it hits production.

Rimac recently showed off their version of robotaxi vehicle named Verne, and surprisingly, it could almost pass for Tesla’s own robotaxi. A lot of design cues in Rimac’s version are elements we have already seen or expect to see in Tesla’s autonomous taxi.

A recent Tesla patent revealed that Tesla is incorporating a sanitation system into their robotaxi that will be responsible for analyzing and cleaning the vehicle’s interior, although the delay itself is likely tied more to a physical feature rather than software.

Another element we know almost nothing about is how Tesla plans to charge these robotic taxis. Will they rely on the existing charge port and adapt a solution like the robotic charging arm (video below) we saw almost eight years ago, or will wireless charging or a dock finally become realized?

While the delay for Tesla’s event appears to be related to the vehicle’s design itself and not further development of FSD, Tesla is wasting no time in getting FSD working for the upcoming vehicle. Model 3 vehicles have already been spotted with camera locations that resemble a robotaxi.

Is the Delay Accurate?

We expect that this delay might actually be true – Elon Musk usually takes to X within hours of such news breaking if it's false to refute it and hasn’t done so yet.

Tesla has delayed several of their events in the past, and a delay of a couple of months seems plausible. We should hear from Musk himself soon on whether this report is accurate.

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