Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’re probably aware of Tesla’s Cybertruck. Like most of Tesla’s products, the truck is a state of the art vehicle that will likely steer the automotive industry in a new direction. However, after Thursday’s show, I couldn’t help but wonder how safe this new beast will be for others on the road…
In case you don’t know the details on the Cybertruck. One of its biggest selling points is its hardened exoskeleton design. Most, if not all, trucks to date have been built around a heavy-duty chassis with more forgiving body panels. With Cybertruck, the strength is built in the body panels themselves by using Ultra-Hard 30x Cold-Rolled stainless steel. We were even treated to a live demo where Franz Holzhausen – Chief Designer at Tesla Inc. – bashed the door panel with a sledgehammer. The hefty blow didn’t leave a dent or any visible scuffs (from video perspective).
If what we saw at the demo is what we’re getting, we probably don’t need to worry too much about the glass. But if the trucks are delivered with the glass Tesla is promising, there’s even more to worry about. Their armored glass claims to be significantly stronger than traditional automotive glass and is extremely shatter-resistant. It’s built similar to bulletproof glass, being that it has layers of glass and polymers. So not only will the body not flex during an accident, the glass will likely withhold its shape too.
Safety is an afterthought
Let’s face it, the Cybertruck has some great features and the ability to lay down fast times at the track. But when it comes to safety during a crash, it looks like it will be an unstoppable force against everything else on the road. Sure, all of the models will come stock with self-driving capabilities, but that hasn’t stopped their other cars from getting into accidents with pedestrians in the past. Put a human behind the wheel, and the odds of accidents increase even more.
Obviously, the vehicle is still in its prototyping phase, and they have years to incorporate other materials into the build to make it safer. But if the majority of the body keeps its super-strong qualities, cyclists and other pedestrians will likely be facing essentially a brick wall (more so than any other car).
Cybertruck still needs a lot of work…
As much as Tesla loves to drive the industry in new directions, they would do well by taking a page from Volvo and their approach to pedestrian safety. The Cybertruck has been a polarizing topic for many but hopefully, we can all agree that the design they’ve presented us needs to take a second look at the safety of those who will be sharing the roads with it.