Cybertruck Unveiled: Bi-Directional Charging, Steer-by-Wire, Largest Battery in Any Tesla, Powered Frunk, 18.5-Inch Display

By Kevin Armstrong
The Cybertruck has bi-directional charging, letting you power your home
The Cybertruck has bi-directional charging, letting you power your home
Not a Tesla App

Elon Musk stood in the back of a Cybertruck with the words behind him: more utility than a truck. Faster than a sports car. Tesla's CEO then backed up that statement for the next 20 minutes with real-world examples.

The presentation showed a Cybertruck out pull an F350 and other competitors. A video demonstrated the Cybertruck beating a Porsche 911 on the quarter mile - the Cybertruck was also hauling a Porsche 911. Of course, the bullet tests video was on screen, with a slow-motion shot of a bullet bouncing off the stainless steel.

The delivery event mostly exceeded expectations, as the stainless steel beast is now on the road. Let's dive a little deeper into some of the unprecedented functionality and cutting-edge technology Cybertruck offers.

Biggest Breakthroughs: Steer-By-Wire System

One of the most talked-about features is the Cybertruck's steer-by-wire system. This advanced technology eliminates the need for a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the wheels, offering precision control and a new level of driving experience.

Its implementation is a game-changer, providing drivers with enhanced maneuverability and a turning radius that rivals most sedans. Elon Musk compared it to a jet fighter, stating if you steer the yoke just a little in a parking lot, the vehicle can turn a lot, but if you steer the yoke on the highway, it will adapt to the speed and maneuver the truck accordingly.

Bi-Directional Charging

We hoped this one was coming. One of the Cybertruck's most innovative features is bi-directional charging. This capability allows the Cybertruck to charge its own batteries and power external devices and even other electric vehicles. Whether it's powering tools at a construction site or providing emergency power during a grid outage, the Cybertruck doubles as a mobile power station.

Cybertruck Battery

Tesla has put its largest-ever battery into the Cybertruck. The Cybertruck isn't a light vehicle, coming in at 6,603 lbs for the AWD version and 6,843 lbs (3,103 kg) for Cyberbeast, so the fact that it includes Tesla's largest battery isn't surprising.

The AWD and Cyberbeast versions of the Cybertruck both contain a new 123kWh battery. This battery uses 4680 cells and is the equivalent of more than 9 Powerwalls. If you're planning to use the Cybertruck for backup power for your home, there's a lot to like here.

Powered Frunk

The Cybertruck will be the first Tesla to include a powered frunk. It seems that you'll not only be able to open the frunk, but also close it from within the vehicle or through the Tesla app. The spacious trunk also doubles as a bench seat for two for tailgating, sporting events or camping.

Bed Lining

To go along with the power station Cybertruck's super-tough composite bed doesn't require a liner, setting a new standard in durability. This feature is designed to handle all sorts of cargo without worrying about scratches or dents, reflecting Tesla's commitment to both utility and longevity.

Theater on Wheels

The Cybertruck has a massive 18.5
The Cybertruck has a massive 18.5
Tesla

The Cybertruck is designed to offer an unparalleled in-vehicle entertainment experience. Its recording studio sound dynamics featuring 15 speakers, including two dedicated subwoofers and distributed amplifiers, transforms into a mobile theater, delivering an immersive audio experience.

At the heart of the Cybertruck's interior are the massive 18.5" touchscreen in the front and the 9.4" touchscreen in the back, both boasting an all-new user interface. These screens are more than just displays; they're control centers that put a wide range of functions at the fingertips of both the driver and passengers.

In line with Tesla's focus on safety and health, the Cybertruck comes equipped with a built-in hospital-grade HEPA filter and Bioweapon Defense Mode, providing protection against 99.97% of airborne particles. This feature, known as the Bioweapon Defense Mode, ensures that the cabin air is clean and safe, regardless of external conditions.

Adventure-Ready

With a range of up to 340 miles on a single charge and the capability to recover up to 136 miles with just 15 minutes of supercharging, the Cybertruck is ready for any adventure. The electronically adaptive air suspension further enhances its off-road capabilities, offering up to 17" of clearance.

Price and Specs Overview

The Cybertruck is offered in three trim levels: the Tri-Motor "Cyberbeast" at $99,990, the Dual-Motor All-Wheel-Drive at $79,990, and the Rear-Wheel-Drive at $60,990. Each model promises a blend of power, efficiency, and range that sets a new benchmark in the electric truck segment.

Tesla has previously stated that it will produce 200,000 Cybertrucks a year. With well over a million reservations, many people could wait a long time to get this vehicle. With that in mind, Tesla offers $1,000 off any other model when customers buy a Cybertruck but take delivery of a different Tesla before December 31.

Video Review

Tesla Looks to Add New Full Self-Driving and Premium Connectivity Plans in Canada

By Kevin Armstrong
FSD subscription may be coming to Canada
FSD subscription may be coming to Canada

Tesla may soon support a monthly FSD subscription and the Premium Connectivity annual plan for Canadian customers. The possible move was discussed on X as Tesla’s Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development, Rohan Patel, responded to inquiries.

FSD Beta Subscription in Canada

The potential introduction of the FSD beta subscription in Canada represents a notable evolution in Tesla’s FSD pricing. The monthly subscription is available in the U.S. for $200 USD per month, this service allows Tesla owners to access the company’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Considering currency exchange rates, this could translate to around $270 CAD monthly for Canadian consumers. This pricing strategy aims to make Tesla’s ADAS features more accessible, offering flexibility to subscribe or unsubscribe based on individual needs and circumstances, such as seasonal driving preferences. Currently, Canadian customers only have the option to buy FSD in full at $16,000 CAD.

While a subscription service for FSD Beta may allow more drivers to try out the technology, it will also assist Tesla in gathering more information and improving the system faster. The more miles clocked by FSD, the more the system learns.

Miles driven on FSD
Miles driven on FSD

Premium Connectivity Annual Plan

Alongside the FSD beta, Tesla is exploring the possibility of offering an annual subscription model for its Premium Connectivity service in Canada. Tesla started offering an annual subscription for Premium Connectivity in the US back in 2022 at $99.99, representing a 20% savings. Premium connectivity offers drivers additional features such as Live Traffic Visualization, Satellite-View Maps, and streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and YouTube. The anticipated price for Canadian subscribers is set to be around $139.99 annually, offering a savings opportunity compared to the current monthly subscription rate of $13.99 CAD.

Patel's engagement on X highlights Tesla's proactive approach to addressing potential legal and regulatory barriers that might impede the introduction of these services in Canada. He committed to investigating these issues, underscoring Tesla's dedication to its Canadian customer base.

Strategic Investments and Enthusiastic Community

Tesla's plans for Canada go beyond just offering new subscription services. The company has made significant investments in manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain operations in the country.

Tesla FSD Beta v12 Auto Parks, Completes U-Turns, But Removes Traffic-Aware Cruise Control Ability

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has released FSD Beta v12 to some customers
Tesla has released FSD Beta v12 to some customers

Tesla's FSD Beta version 12.2.1, update 2023.44.30.20, recently started going out to some owners, which resulted in more videos posted on X. There are several examples of amazing technology at work, but also evidence that more work is needed.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla's Director of Autopilot Software, recently highlighted the sophistication of FSD Beta v12 on X, emphasizing how the system's end-to-end approach is tackling complex driving scenarios with remarkable ease. His response came to a video of FSD maneuvering around a large puddle.

FSD V12 Does U-Turns

One of the standout features of FSD Beta v12 is its ability to execute U-turns seamlessly when required by the route. This is where real-world examples show the good and the bad of this highly advanced maneuver come into play. X user AI DRIVR, an account posting several high-quality videos of V12.2.1 in action, demonstrates a flawless U-turn.

Unfortunately, not all U-turns posted on X are as pretty; Randolph Kim has been experimenting with several scenarios. While later videos showed better behavior with u-turns and roundabouts, the earlier attempts had to be disengaged.

Parking Mode / First Glimpse at Park Seek

During our first glimpse of FSD v12 during Musk’s livestream, we noticed a new behavior when the vehicle reached its destination. Instead of just stopping, the vehicle now pulled over to the side of the road. However, it looks like the newest release goes one step further.

In a video by ArthurFromX, the vehicle is navigating to a parking lot. Not only does the vehicle successfully navigate to the parking lot, but it hunts around for a spot and then successfully parks without any additional instructions.

This could be our first glimpse at Tesla’s upcoming Park Seek feature that will eventually let the vehicle drop you off at the door and then go park itself.

Return of the Snapshot Button

Tesla appears to have reintroduced the Snapshot button in this update, at least to some owners. The snapshot button allows drivers to send additional information to Tesla regarding Autopilot's performance. This feature and the existing voice command feedback option provide Tesla with invaluable data to improve the FSD system further.

Automatic Speed Offset

Another noteworthy addition is the Automatic Set Speed Offset feature, which grants the vehicle autonomy to adjust its speed based on factors such as road type, traffic flow, and environmental conditions. The video below shows this feature in action. The feature is turned off by default and it currently only applies to street-level roads, but it’s a shift toward more human-like behavior for FSD Beta.

TACC is No Longer Accessible

Recently, Tesla revised the Autopilot activation method to avoid confusion and offered drivers two choices — a single pull of the stalk to enable FSD Beta or the traditional two taps. However, with FSD Beta v12, drivers are now required to use the single pull method to activate Autopilot.

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) has traditionally been one pull of the stalk and Autopilot two pulls, but with the new single-pull method to activate Autopilot, TACC becomes unavailable. This hasn’t been a big deal until the release of FSD v12. With v12 Tesla is now requiring FSD Beta to use the single tap activation method.

This means that if a driver chooses to use FSD Beta, then TACC is no longer accessible. The only way to enable it is to go into Controls > Autopilot and turn off FSD Beta and instead choose Autosteer (or TACC). However, if you wish to enable FSD Beta again later, then it requires the vehicle to be in Park. Switching between Autosteer and FSD Beta isn’t practical for drivers. For those who rely on TACC, this issue could be a significant disadvantage in this release.

Update 2023.44.30.20

FSD 12.2.1
Installed on 0% of vehicles
0 Installs today
Last updated: Feb 25, 6:00 am

Several drivers have praised FSD Beta v12’s ability to navigate complex situations, better decision-making, and smoother behavior. However, as with any cutting-edge technology, there have been instances where the system's responses have room for improvement, highlighting the importance of its continued development.

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