Tesla Cybertruck Turns the Tables, Shows Power in Snow Pull, Demonstrates Distorted Media Coverage [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck to the Rescue/YouTube/Cars9to5
Cybertruck to the Rescue/YouTube/Cars9to5
Not a Tesla App

A video posted on YouTube by user cars9to5 has stirred up some debate but an obvious lack of discussion. The footage showcases a Tesla Cybertruck pulling a Ford F150 out of a snow mound, an act that, on the surface, highlights the Cybertruck's power and utility. However, the situation and subsequent online reactions have painted a more complex picture of public perception and media coverage of Tesla's vehicles.

The uploader states that they were behind the wheel of the Cybertruck and described the rescue as impromptu, noting the Ford driver's struggle with traction control and a possible lack of a rear locker. Despite the Cybertruck's success in aiding the F150, the simplicity of the recovery was overshadowed by debates on the conditions and execution of the rescue.

A Spectrum of Opinions

The video became a focal point for varied opinions. As commenters pointed out, the Cybertruck was on the pavement during the rescue, suggesting that the outcome would be the same if the roles were reversed. Another user echoed this sentiment and remarked that the situation mirrored a previous incident where a Cybertruck was rescued, indicating a potential bias in public reaction based on the vehicles involved.

Skeptics dismissed the video as staged, questioning the authenticity of the F150's predicament. Others, like expressed doubt about the severity of the situation, noting the snow's appearance and the F150's position.

A Reflection on Bias and Perception

While getting very little play on social media, it is getting none in the mainstream media, underscoring a broader discussion about media coverage and public perception of electric vehicles, particularly those made by Tesla. While some viewers quickly criticize or downplay the significance of the Cybertruck's rescue, others point out the inconsistency in reactions to similar events involving traditional vehicles.

Notably, back in December, a Ford 350 was widely praised across numerous news outlets for a similar feat -- rescuing a non-production model from snowy conditions. The contrast in the visibility of these two events has led to accusations of media bias against Tesla, highlighting a disparity in how the achievements and capabilities of electric vehicles are represented.

The discrepancy in media coverage between the two incidents raises important questions about the portrayal of electric vehicles in mainstream media. While the Ford 350's rescue operation received widespread acclaim, the Cybertruck's similar act of vehicular assistance has not been met with the same level of enthusiasm or visibility. This imbalance suggests a broader issue of perception and acceptance of electric vehicles, potentially influencing public opinion and consumer choices.

Despite its significant contributions to pushing the automotive industry toward sustainability, Tesla has long faced scrutiny and skepticism from various quarters. Events like the Cybertruck's snow rescue offer tangible proof of electric vehicles' capabilities, challenging stereotypes and misconceptions. However, they require fair and balanced coverage for such achievements to alter perceptions. That is unlikely, but Tesla is starting to spend on social media advertising, hopefully changing the narrative and educating people while dispelling myths.

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 Launches; Adds EV Charger Ratings Using Rivian Data

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 launched yesterday, and there are some pretty awesome features coming to all EV owners courtesy of Rivian. Rivian purchased ABRP last year and has made good on its promises to continue its improvement and ensure it remains open to all EV owners.

Charger Scoring

Rivian recently added a feature that would rate any chargers compatible with Rivian vehicles. The list of chargers includes Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) chargers, Tesla Superchargers and any other compatible third-party chargers. The charger score is automatically calculated based on the station's average top speed and reliability.

With the launch of ABRP 5.0, Rivian is integrating its charger scores directly into the free tier of ABRP so that all EV owners can benefit. ABRP users will now be able to see charger scores, and ABRP will automatically route users to chargers with higher scores if they are available on your route.

Google Automotive

Another cool feature for ABRP is that it will now be available as an app to install and use directly in vehicles that support Google Automotive. Any EV that uses Google Automotive, including Volvo,  Polestar, Ford, and GM will support the in-system experience, which will also provide data for charger scoring and routing.

This will be an excellent way to hold third-party networks accountable, which have commonly suffered from uptime or speed issues.

Tesla’s Implementation

Tesla previously implemented a “Qualified Third-Party Charger” program, that would allow highly-rated third-party chargers that meet a strict set of requirements to be displayed directly in the vehicle. However, this is currently limited to Europe and parts of the Middle East. Within North America, Tesla only displays third-party Tesla destination chargers in addition to Superchargers.

While Tesla doesn’t directly show charger scores, they clearly are tracking charge data, and are providing the cream of the crop of third-party chargers for navigation where the program is available. We’d hope that this implementation of qualified third-party chargers also comes to North America, as NACS is becoming the de facto standard for charging.

If Tesla does expand the display of third-party chargers to other regions, it’ll likely be similar to what we see in Europe today, and won’t be as open as Rivian’s implementation in ABRP.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

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