Topic 7 Posts



Steer-by-wire gives you variable ratio turns, which eliminates hand-over-hand wasted motion. It also lets you control multiple parts (front and rear-wheel steering, plane aero surfaces) without complex mechanicals. Used on Cybertruck.

Accelerate- and brake-by-wire are already common. EVs smoothly blend physical and regen braking, and let you set different driving profiles like chill or sport.

You need a lot of power to steer large craft like ships and planes. Simpler to apply that directly to the part than to inject it at the controls and transmit it all the way back.

Steer-by-wire de-links the controller. Turning the Cybertruck steering wheel doesn’t turn the wheels when power is off. So the autopilot no longer pointlessly spins the steering wheel.

(I wonder whether the steering wheel position is misaligned with the wheels when you take over from autopilot.)

Steer-by-wire requires more power than the old 12V system can practically deliver, so Cybertruck switched to 48V, a multiple of 12 and around the limit of what’s safe to touch.

Steer-by-wire on Cybertruck is rumored to use a consensus voting system like planes, where 2 of 3 redundant sensors must agree.

Love to see this trickle down to mainstream #EVs.

Are we the baddies?

The militaristic Cybertruck, used to pick up kids at school, marks it a truck for bed-wetters and guys anxious about their masculinity. It’s Joe Keery in Fargo. It’s open-carrying a rifle to a bagel shop: a cry for help.

Elmo launched his Cybertruck Kickstarter on a day in 2019 when Blade Runner takes place. Its dystopic message went over his head: the angled, bladed designs are the villains.

Elon does not understand movies, like right-wingers don’t understand songs (“Born on the Fourth of July”).

Tesla’s Lisa

Cybertruck is Tesla’s Apple Lisa: new tech in a model with poor price / performance will be reused in more successful models.

Also like NeXT: design curator gets high on his own farts, demands shell of pointlessly posh material which makes product a bad deal. Core tech reused elsewhere.

Next-gen tech (for Tesla):

  • 800V main battery
  • 48V electricals
  • 4680 cells
  • Steer-by-wire (usable yoke)
  • Rear steering (nimbler big EV)
  • V2L (powers home)
  • Bigger 18.5” screen

Experience forming stainless will be wasted there, could be reused at SpaceX.

As a product, it’s a d-bag / prepper SUV in the Hummer / G-wagon niche, with a market of Elon and other insecure bros. A penis extender with a range extender.

  • HEPA filter hyped as “bioweapon defense”
  • Uselessly proof against arrows and low-velocity bullets, but not the windows or tires
  • Elon brags you’ll destroy other cars in a collision, which is about his maturity level

They were so afraid of boos, they didn’t mention price and range at the delivery event after their big specs miss.

Knife missile

On regular cars, panels curve over corners and meet on flat planes, protecting people from sharp edges while shielding internals from rain and snow. Each panel has rounded edges covered in several layers of paint.

On Cybertruck, flat steel panels have gaps at sharp origami corners. This exposes the internals to weather and insects in the directions of travel and rainfall.

This is for polygon styling and cost control. The material is difficult to work with, poor fit for a car but a great one for buzz and stock pumps.

The panels form points and blades which could harm drivers and pedestrians or be forced apart in a collision. A knife missile, a guillotine on wheels.

The lines of these panels aren’t straight down the length of the body, and the panel gaps aren’t uniform. The panels don’t appear uniformly reflective, the metal finish appears uneven. The effect is a kid’s science fair project, or a defective Hibachi.

Consider who would’ve even worked on the truck. The design studio reportedly revolted, thinking the concept a joke. So it’s mostly built by Elon-fan preppers or pure mercs.

Ironically the prepper truck is a danger to its own driver. It’s another of Elon’s dangerous-by-design products, along with FSD and Xitter.

The truck’s bigger and not as ugly in person, like the Ioniq 6. But has massive Escalade wheels, and the outward-sloping Kammback does it no favor. No door handles, just buttons, an especially unfriendly primary interface.

Gigawiper: a base and an extension

There was no line to see it. Overheard a woman: “It’s so ugly.”

Front, front quarter angle and front side look quite nice, especially in black. Side proportions are wonky, short frunk / long rear. Back looks like a dumpster.

First principles of materials

The typical auto body panel is 0.7 mm thick. Cybertruck’s are 3 mm, 4× thicker for no good reason.

Current electric trucks are limited mainly by range. They often tow loads and are shaped like unaerodynamic bricks. Door dings don’t figure in the top 10 selling points.

The added weight cuts range, the angular cross-section adds drag, the unfinished steel is hard to patch and match.

It’s anti-functional, like T•••• demanding gold and marble on his weight-sensitive planes. Functional only for the con, selling futurey sizzle to marks.

The “no paint, no door dings, easy to patch, and bulletproof” stuff was grafted on later. The main draw of the throwaway design sketch for Elon was that it “looked like the future.” But it’s lo-poly angular because 3 mm stainless is hard to bend, hard to work with.

Elon’s materials-illiterate “10 microns” demand ran completely counter to using this kind of material, totally incoherent.

He’d only ever heard of it because it was a tough, relatively inexpensive material for SpaceX’s specific application of orbital reentry.

Elon’s slogan is “first principles physics thinking.” Even the slogan is a lie—especially the slogan :)