Home » The Tesla Cybertruck Makes Big Compromises To Be Cool, But It Actually Pulls It Off

The Tesla Cybertruck Makes Big Compromises To Be Cool, But It Actually Pulls It Off

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“Your truck is ugly!” an unhoused man yelled while standing on an LA street corner holding up a cardboard sign (a sad, far-too-common sight in a city that is failing many of its citizens). Gripping a strangely-shaped steering wheel not connected to my vehicle’s front tires, I looked over at the man, then over at my passenger, baffled that someone who clearly has bigger fish to fry would care that much about the looks of the truck I was driving. But that’s the Tesla Cybertruck in a nutshell. It’s an unignorable, brutalist bunker-on-wheels that the world cannot resist talking about, and it ended up this way because Tesla made massive compromises that make the truck worse in so many ways, and yet, as a package, so much better. Here, allow me to explain.

Death By A Thousand Cuts

“Death by a thousand cuts” was an expression that a Vehicle Integration long-timer often said as he did his best to protect the integrity of the Jeep Wrangler JL, whose engineering team I was a part of in my early professional days. What do I mean by “protect the integrity of?” Well, at the start of any vehicle program, there is a “vision” put forth of what the vehicle has to be, on a macro scale.

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For the Wrangler, the vision was to take the winning formula of the Jeep Wrangler JK, which was selling in unbelievable, never-before-seen numbers (thanks to the addition of the four-door), and fix its pain points, of which there were many. That rear bench was too upright; we had to fix that. The fuel tank skidplate was flat sheet metal that lacked stiffness, and it would therefore bend up into the tank, reducing its fuel capacity. We had to fix that. That grille looked rectangular and terrible. Designers felt we had to fix that. The shifter vibrated too much; someone felt we had to fix that. The sole engine option didn’t offer good enough fuel economy; we had to fix that.

 

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You get the idea. The vision for the JL was to tweak the JK, a dual solid-axle-off-roader that could out-offroad any vehicle on the planet. But as engineers began developing the JL, that vision was jeopardized as individuals and teams sought to reduce the compromises a customer would have to deal with. In doing so, these engineers set out on a course to build something that was decent at everything, but great at nothing, much like many of the crossover SUVs on the market today.

One example from the JL program stands out in my mind: I was sitting in the chassis “chunk team meeting” sometime around early 2014 when a dynamics engineer presented his simulation results. “Our simulations show that the JL, as currently designed, does not meet our corporate ride and handling goals, falling short in the following metrics,” the engineer presented, pointing out areas where the JL’s handling fell short of other vehicles in the company’s fleet. “As such,” he continued, “I recommend changing the solid front axle to an independent suspension design.” I remember my heart pounding when I heard this. The solid front axle was the Wrangler’s trump card; it was what made it far and away the best off-road vehicle for sale in America, especially on rocky courses like the Rubicon Trail and Moab’s “Hell’s Revenge.”

The aforementioned Vehicle Integration long-timer quietly but quickly spoke up. “That’s not the right direction for this vehicle.” That was the end of it. The Wrangler’s solid front axle would live on for at least another generation, solidifying the vehicle as the ultimate rock-crawler for another decade at least.

This long-timer, named Jim, worked together with the JL’s product planner, my friend Tony, to act as a united force against compromise-reducers who threatened to water down the vehicle’s overall “vision” in order to meet their individual or team goals. And these threats were frequent. When someone proposed that the front axle shafts would get hard-to-repair constant-velocity joints instead of bone-simple universal joints, my friends made sure that didn’t happen. When management suggested making skid plates optional for the first time in Jeep Wrangler history, my friends shut that down.

In the end, the JL Wrangler became one of the greatest Jeeps of all time. Pretty much all initial reviews were glowing. This was the old Wrangler, but tweaked in just the right ways to offer a better ride, better fuel economy, a nicer interior, better tech, and on and on, while out-off-roading even its unstoppable predecessor. The result was a triumph. And why? Because the diehards with the vision — my friends Jim and Tony — refused to let the Wrangler succumb to “death by a thousand cuts.”

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That was the expression that Jim used pretty much daily. He would always say: “Death by a thousand cuts. You make all these engineering compromises in order to reduce the compromises a customer has to deal with, and at the end of the day, what you have is not a Jeep Wrangler anymore.” The cuts were the engineering compromises, and death was the dilution of the Jeep Wrangler’s soul.

The Cybertruck Kept Its Soul, And That’s Worth Celebrating. Even If It Means Loads Of Compromises

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A similar, but arguably even greater triumph happened with the Cybertruck. In 2019, Elon Musk first showed the world the concept version of his company’s first pickup truck on stage in Los Angeles, shortly before designer Franz Von Holzhausen shattered the two driver’s side windows during a demonstration. The responses were brutal. Was this truck a joke? It looks like a sci-fi prop. Is it even legal to build?

Most people thought it was just a concept that would look nothing like the production model. Here was Wireds take on it (bold emphasis mine):

Here’s another reason the Cybertruck may seem strange: It doesn’t look like it has all of the necessary elements to make it road-ready. The model shown onstage on Thursday night didn’t have side mirrors, which are required in the US (though the federal government is considering changing the rule). Its headlights, a strip of illumination, wouldn’t be street legal. Automotive engineering experts say they’re also worried about the lack of a visible “crumple zone,” built to collapse and absorb the brunt of the force in a forward collision. Tesla did not respond to questions about whether the truck’s design would change before it goes into production in 2021.

For these reasons, the Cybertruck feels more like a concept car, says Walton, and “a really interesting one.” Other carmakers produce “concepts all the time, but then they don’t list them on their website with a ‘buy now’ button.” Yes, you can reserve your Cybertruck right now for $100.

Here’s what Jalopnik had to say:

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Despite what Musk said, the truck we saw last night doesn’t really look like something that can be mass-produced as-is. There are barely any taillights or rear turn signals. The “headlights” are a sort of thin horizontal bar across the front. It doesn’t have side mirrors at all.

Plus, if you think its Knight Rider-style yoke steering wheel is easy to use, try driving KITT sometime. It actually sucks. And how about pedestrian safety standards?

If you don’t believe me, an idiot on the internet, ask our friend and contributor Bozi Tatarevic, a smart person on the internet:

And that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg here, as far as regulations go. So while Musk may be reluctant to admit it, the Cybertruck is going to need plenty of changes before it goes to market—just like any concept car.

Here’s what Matt Farah said:

“I’m not entirely sure it’s real…My initial reaction to that was ‘that’s not a real thing.’ And my second reaction is ‘I’m pretty sure they couldn’t build and sell that in America’…because I just don’t think that that will pass the tests that it needs to pass… crash tests, pedestrian safety — stuff like that.

Farah says he spoke with some designers who convinced him that “it could be possible to build and sell a vehicle shaped sort-of like that, although not exactly like that.”

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Scores of journalists and analysts said the Tesla Cybertruck, as shown on that fateful day in November, would never actually make it to production. It wasn’t possible. By the time a production version came out, they said emphatically, it would be a significantly different truck than what was shown back in 2019 (which you can see above). The concept truck, many believed, posed too many compromises — it wouldn’t be safe enough for pedestrians, it wouldn’t be useful enough, you wouldn’t be able to see out the back of it; it would have to change significantly. Like what my friend Jim feared about the JL Wrangler, its soul would succumb to “a thousand cuts.”

But that didn’t happen. Tesla accomplished a miracle.

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Sure, the Cybertruck came out years later than promised, plus it was more expensive than expected, its payload and towing figures were lower, it had to have mirrors unlike the concept truck, plus its overall size changed a bit. But none of that detracts from the irrefutable fact that Tesla actually pulled it off.

The production Cybertruck delivered the soul promised by the concept truck; a shape that seemed like a joke to so many — and impossible to build — is now driving our roads. The production truck looks almost exactly like the concept, and that’s just a miracle worth celebrating.

And it happened because Tesla refused to water down its vision to get rid of all the compromises that the bold design would impart upon owners. And my God are there compromises.

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Compromise 1: Build Quality

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I don’t want to spend too much time talking about build quality, because that’s been beaten to death. But just look at the photo above. That’s where the roofline just above the rear passenger’s side door meets the bed’s “sail pillar” (rear quarter panel). The fit is way, way off. And the hood gap where it meets the fender is also huge and uneven:

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“This would not be acceptable on any production car that we sell,” my copresenter (and Autopian cofounder) Beau Boeckmann points out in the video at the top of this article. I could go on and on, but again, it’s been beaten to death: The Cybertruck’s fit and finish isn’t great.

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Compromise 2: It’s Big And Hard To Maneuver

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One thing that’s impossible to ignore is the fact that the Cybertruck is big. And while its four-wheel steer-by-wire allows for a surprisingly tight turning radius with minimal steering effort from the driver, the Cybertruck can still be a bit tricky to maneuver.

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I actually hit a car with the Cybertruck. I turned the wheel to back into a parking space, only to see my rear tire turn and smash right into a Kia EV6. D’oh!

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But beyond just the size and the trickiness of getting used to four-wheel steering, the truck’s corners, especially the rear ones, are just so far out there that it’s hard to have a great understanding of just where in space they are.

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It helps that the Cybertruck has absolutely fantastic, crisp cameras, but they’re not quite enough to make maneuvering the F-150-sized truck easy in Los Angeles.

Compromise 3: It Has The Worst User Interface Of Any Vehicle I’ve Ever Driven

When it comes to the main user interface associated with actually using the vehicle for its primary function — driving — the Tesla Cybertruck gets a D minus. Even getting into the vehicle is a compromise that — instead of just requiring pulling a handle that’s presented to you, as is the case with other cars — requires multiple steps. First, if you don’t have the app on your phone, you have to put a key card up against the B-pillar:

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Then you press the button at the base of the B-pillar (the strip with the white horizontal rectangle at the center — see image below):

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Once you’ve pressed that, the door pops out, and you can slide your hand into the door jamb and grip the stainless steel door. Yes, you’re grabbing raw stainless steel; there’s no rubber pad on the backside for your hand to grip — it’s just steel, some of which is rather sharp:

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It’s worth noting that, right after driving this Cybertruck, Beau and I hopped into the new Lotus Eletre, and it simply presented its door handles upon noticing that someone with a key fob was approaching. I grabbed the handle and opened the door; it was faster than the Cybertruck, and way, way more elegant.

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Once you’re inside, you sit down and place your key card on the wireless charging pad.

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That then activates the shifter on the screen. Yes, you read that right: the shifter on the screen.

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We could list off the worst shifters of all time — maybe you hate the rotary dial shifter in the Chrysler Pacifica or Chrysler 200. Maybe you don’t like the monostable shifter in the early WK2-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. Maybe you don’t like the tiny Toyota Prius shifter. Or the weird Nissan leaf ball-shaped shifter.

None of these are as bad as the Cybertruck’s “shifter,” because at least these are three-dimensional shifters. They can be used without requiring you to take your eyes off the road, and they offer a positive engagement that makes it easy to know which gear they’re in. The Cybertruck requires you to look at the screen, press your finger on the little cybertruck icon in that small vertical shifter “column,” and then slide it up to go into drive or downward to go into reverse.

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The shifter works, and it isn’t confusing like some shifters can be, but I still struggle to find a worse transmission shifter in the automotive industry. There’s a reason why the Ford F-150 has stayed with its T-handle PRNDL shifter despite the fact that it takes up a bunch of space and doesn’t actually mechanically connect to the transmission: That’s what Ford’s customers want. They want a physical, substantial shifter. Ram went to a rotary dial, and that received a bunch of criticism, though I think most folks are used to that now. But this “shifter” in the Cybertruck? One with minimal feedback to tell you what’s going on and one that you cannot use without looking — it may work, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the worst of the bunch.

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While we’re on the topic of things Tesla should have kept on a steering column stalk, let’s talk about the turn signals. They’re on the steering wheel.

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The Cybertruck isn’t the first car with steering wheel-mounted turn signal buttons; I drove a Ford GT earlier this year, and it had wheel-mounted turn signal buttons. They sucked on the GT, and they suck just as bad on the Cybertruck. Turn signal switches should not move; you should know where they are at all times; the stalk that the rest of the industry uses is so common for a reason: It is the best version of that switch. It does its job perfectly; this is an example of Tesla fixing what isn’t broken.

You know what else isn’t broken? Gauge clusters situated just ahead of the driver. As you can see in the image above, there are no gauges in front of the driver; even the speed is off to the right in the center stack. This probably saves Tesla money over having a secondary screen ahead of the driver, but that doesn’t make this setup any better for the driver.

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You know what also probably saves Tesla money? Foregoing buttons. Obviously, there are some buttons in the Cybertruck (I just mentioned the turn signal buttons), but the main vehicle functions are all controlled via a touchscreen. Heated seat switch? It’s on the touchscreen. Shifter (as I mentioned before)? Touchscreen. Radio? Touchscreen. Climate control? That’s on the touch screen. Even if you want to adjust your HVAC air vents, you have to use the touchscreen; it’s maddening. But nothing is more maddening than the fact that, in order to open the glovebox you have to use a button on the touchscreen.

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Again, Tesla isn’t the first company to require opening the glovebox via a button on a touchscreen, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worse than a simple latch that the world has been using for many decades.

The truth is that the world wants buttons. In fact, when we wrote the article “Europe Is Requiring Physical Buttons For Cars To Get Top Safety Marks, And We Should, Too,” the comments were filled with supporters of the idea that America follow suit. We’re tired of having to use a touchscreen for everything; give us back our physical buttons!

In a world where people just want their physical buttons back, the Tesla Cybertruck is the worst culprit. It pushes everything onto that big center screen, and it doesn’t make the vehicle better at all.

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Compromise 4: Visibility Isn’t Good

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Because the Tesla Cybertruck’s tonneau cover slides down its sail pillars, when the cover is down, rear visibility out the rearview mirror is zero.

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You see only the glare off the rear glass:

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Even when the tonneau cover has been retracted, the rear visibility from that rearview mirror isn’t amazing:

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For some reason, Tesla decided to put a rear camera on the center screen instead of integrating one into the rearview mirror.  So if you want to see which cars are behind you when you have the tonneau cover down, you have to look over to the right at the little image below the speedometer reading:

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Forward visibility is OK, though the split A-pillars can cause some issues. I once totally missed some pedestrians crossing the street until my partner yelled at me.

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Again, the Cybertruck’s surround-view cameras are great, but they’re no replacement for actually being able to see out of the vehicle.

Compromise 5: Smears Will Show Up Everywhere

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Because the Cybertruck is made of unpainted stainless steel, handprints and dirt show up and stick out prominently.

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Compromise 6: That Windshield Is Hard To Clean

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If you look at where the windshield meets the front of the truck, you see that the Cybertruck is actually almost a cab-forward design. On an old vehicle, that would mean the driver is sitting at the very front of the machine. But because legs acting as crumple zones is no longer considered acceptable to the government, to insurance companies, or to the general population, the Cybertruck (and the new VW bus, for that matter) have the driver’s seat pushed way, way back relative to the base of the windshield.

The result is a humongous dashboard and a windscreen that feels like it’s a quarter mile from the driver. As a result, wiping off grime or fog is borderline impossible while seated.

Compromise 7: Reaching Over The Bedsides Can Be Tricky

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The photo above shows me trying to reach over the Cybertruck’s bedsides as I load a dresser into the bed; a red arrow points out the charge port door, which opened as a result of me simply loading the vehicle.

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This is obviously not ideal, even if overall I found the Cybertruck’s bed to be totally usable, and certainly more practical than many four-door pickup truck beds today.

Compromise 8: You Can Cut Yourself

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As useful as the Cybertruck’s bed is, I was not thrilled when, while reaching over the driver’s side bedside and adjusting a fig tree that I had loaded into the bed, I actually cut myself:

It’s a tiny scratch, really, but it wasn’t pleasant, and it was all because of this poorly-placed sharp edge:

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Compromise 9: It’s Expensive And Heavy And Its Range Is Only So-So

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The Tesla Cybertruck ain’t cheap. A base, 350-ish horsepower rear-wheel drive model costs about $60 grand, and if you want four-wheel drive and 600 ponies, that’ll cost you closer to 80 grand. What’s more, range for the base truck (which probably weighs about 6,000 pounds; the dual-motor weighs 6,600) is an estimated 250 miles, while the dual-motor four-wheel drive brings that up to 340. Sure, 340 isn’t a bad figure, but I’ve read reports about worse real-world range.

The fact is: It’s a big truck, its shape isn’t exactly the most aerodynamic, and that means it’s going to require heavy, expensive batteries to offer competitive range.

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It’s All Of These Compromises That Make The Cybertruck Cool

The Cybertruck wouldn’t be a Cybertruck if not for these compromises. They are what make up the vehicle’s soul.

I realize that sounds absurd; am I really saying a vehicle’s flaws are what make it good? Am I really going to excuse these very obvious compromises — the terrible rear visibility that requires you to look at a camera image on the center stack to see what’s directly behind you, the poor speedometer position, the worst-in-the-industry shifter, the sharp edges that can cut you, the hard-to-clean windshield, the fingerprint-magnet body panels, the dumb steering wheel-mounted turn signals, the poor fit-and-finish, and the only so-so range coupled with a high price? Am I really going to say that these issues make the Cybertruck better?

Yes, I am. Sort of.

You see, there are some cars that make users deal with compromises that have no clear benefit. Take the VW ID.4’s cheap window switch design, which basically uses the same window up-down buttons for the front and rear, ostensibly to save money. This is just a bad compromise in a vehicle with a confused identity.

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Then there are vehicles that make customers deal with compromises that actually bear fruit — ones that help give the vehicle soul. The Jeep Wrangler JL I mentioned earlier in this article comes to mind. Its overall shape doesn’t help with wind noise or fuel economy, but it still looks like a Jeep. That solid front axle doesn’t help the vehicle ride or handle very well, but it sure helps the vehicle off-road over seemingly-impossible terrain, and it makes lifting the Jeep significantly easier than an independent front suspension would. The Jeep look and that solid front axle help give the vehicle soul.

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The Cybertruck falls into the Jeep’s camp. It set out to be something five years ago, and in order to be that thing — a low-polygon, brutalist machine that changes the way people perceive truck design, whether you (or the unhoused man) like it or not — it knew it would have to make compromises.

The shape couldn’t be the most aerodynamic, so range/weight/cost would suffer. The stainless steel panels would gather fingerprints and be tricky to manufacture; as a result, fit and finish would suffer. The sharp corners that gave the vehicle such a bold look could cut customers, the wacky tonneau cover would harm visibility, that windshield would be hard to reach, and on and on.

As for the interior functions, which weren’t really prominently shown in the concept car in 2019, they had to be bold and, in some ways, they had to continue Tesla’s trend of  “doing things for the sake of doing them, even if they make the car, arguably, worse” (see Tesla Model X Falcon Doors). The lack of door handles, the hard-to-use turn signal switches, the glove box switch, and especially that wacky shifter — they’re less about ensuring the truck maintains the soul of the concept that debuted in 2019, and more about making sure it maintains the soul of a Tesla. They’re about ensuring brand continuity. Wacky stuff with door handles and a “control everything through the screen” attitude is The Tesla Way.

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The truth is, if Tesla rounded those sharp edges so they wouldn’t cut me when I reached into the bed; adjusted the shape to offer better range at a lower cost; installed a regular shifter; built the truck out of something less likely to see fingerprints and that could be assembled more easily with good fit and finish; removed the tonneau cover that blocks rear visibility — if Tesla did all of these, then the Cybertruck would not be the Cybertruck.

It is what it is because it refused to die by a thousand cuts.

The Tesla Cybertruck Doesn’t Deserve Hate From Enthusiasts, Even If It Does Deserve Some Criticism

Everyone wants to hate the Tesla Cybertruck to the point where I’ve seen experienced, veteran car journalists unable to remain objective about it. And I get it; the vehicle cannot be detached from highly controversial Tesla boss Elon Musk and his sometimes-rabid fans. It’s extremely difficult to talk about the Cybertruck without thinking about Musk and a bunch of wackjobs who would defend Tesla to the death, probably by insulting you on Twitter.

But the Cybertruck is a miracle. It is a vehicle with a clearly-defined soul, and that, especially to car enthusiasts, is worth admiring. It did not succumb to the dreaded “death by a thousand cuts,” even if it will leave your forearm with a couple. It stands proudly with all of its flaws so that it can be what it set out to be: a Cybertruck.

And overall, it really is a compelling machine. I know I just spent this entire article talking about compromises (and I didn’t mention them all; the visor mirrors are hilariously tiny/useless, the automatic emergency braking is too aggressive, etc), but there are so many positive attributes worth mentioning, too. Obviously, there’s the ~600 horsepower that rockets the 6,600-pound vehicle from zero to 60 mph in about four seconds; the thing is quick.

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But more surprising than that is the ride quality, which is simply phenomenal for a truck on 35-inch tires. The truck is quiet and rides like a magic carpet even over speed bumps; honestly, I can’t think of a vehicle that dispatches speed bumps as well as the Tesla Cybertruck — it’s remarkable.

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The interior is nice enough; it’s a little spartan design-wise, but the material quality is good enough, and with the quiet cabin, excellent ride, and top-notch sound system that lets you really bang tunes, it’s just a great place to be. And that applies to passengers up front or in the rear, as the space throughout the cabin is plentiful:

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Plus, storage space is good, too, with smart use of the flat floor space between the driver’s and passenger’s floorboards (this space is often poorly utilized; Tesla’s done a great job with it), along with big door cubbies, a deep center console, a short but still usable frunk, and of course that highly-useful six-foot bed.

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The biggest criticism that the Cybertruck deserves isn’t that it contains flaws, it’s that some of those flaws could have been fairly easily remedied without harming the vehicle’s soul. The shape and stainless steel construction — and the compromises that come with those — couldn’t really have easily been changed, but there are little things that could have been improved while still keeping the truck what it is. For example, a little plastic or rubber pad in the door jamb to receive your hand when you open your door (like that in the Ford Mustang Mach-E) wouldn’t be hard to include.

A camera in the rearview mirror instead of the center screen would have been easy enough. And while I think a lot of the UI complaints I have (the door opening-procedure, the center-mounted speedometer, etc) are just part of the “Tesla formula,” I do think the company could have gotten away with a column shifter and a column-mounted turn signal like that in some of its other cars. I think these two would have vastly improved the driving experience without detracting much from the Cybertruckishness.

It’s a slippery slope, though. “Death by a thousand cuts” is a dangerous thing. If you try to reduce too many of the customer’s compromises, you get to the point where you no longer have a Cybertruck. I’m glad Tesla didn’t go down that road, that it somehow managed to build a truck that so many considered impossible, and that it delivered something that — while not exactly what was promised — certainly has the same soul.

The Cybertruck is flawed, but at least it has an identity. It’s weird. Wacky. “Out there.” But as a diehard car enthusiast who appreciates “strange” stuff like Pontiac Azteks and AMC Gremlins and the pug-nosed, suicide door-having, carbon-fiber BMW i3 — I (and my co-presenter, Beau) have to appreciate that. Even if Elon and his fans sometimes annoy the heck out of me.

Update: “The Tesla Cybertruck Is A Miracle And Its Flaws Are What Make It Cool” was the headline I started out with, and while I stand by that (I do think it’s a miracle that Tesla pulled it off, and I do think the flaws are what enabled it to be so cool), let’s try the original headline I came up with for size, shall we?

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ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
27 days ago

It’s a very well done piece, DT – refreshingly nuanced in a world of hot takes. Personally, I don’t like the Cybertruck for a variety of reasons that I’m sure are shared with many others. I would never buy one. But at the same time, I’m glad the Cybertruck exists for the sheer absurdity and audaciousness of it all. At a time when our roads have been overtaken with shapeless, boring CUVs, seeing something as bonkers as the Cybertruck is a reminder that individuality still exists, for better or worse.

Are you not entertained?
Are you not entertained?
27 days ago

This was a great article top to bottom (I haven’t watched the video yet). The part about Jeep Wrangler really put everything in perspective for me.

As a Jeep owner I do except so many compromises that I wouldn’t come close to accepting in any other car, but you can tell a Wrangler from a mile away. My kids tell me it’s ugly, and my youngest who just got her license refuses to be caught dead driving it. (Some of her friends think it is cool though!) They never have anything to say about my wife’s Subaru. It’s a car. The Jeep is a Jeep.

I still really dislike the Cybertruck as a truck, but after this article I started thinking about this: I really HATED it because I really hate Elon Musk. If this truck came from somewhere else (especially if it was done Rivian style start up), there would be some respect on the attempt at something new even if it wasn’t a good truck.

Thank you for making me think deeper into how I view the CT. It isn’t truck. It’s a Cybertruck.

AssMatt
AssMatt
26 days ago

That’s how I defend Metallica’s black album: if it were anybody else, it’d be the greatest thing ever.

Are you not entertained?
Are you not entertained?
26 days ago
Reply to  AssMatt

I love the black album, and I’m not afraid to admit it!

AssMatt
AssMatt
26 days ago

Oh, me too, but it’s because at the time I was able to judge it on its merits, not as a Metallica record. In 1991, there were a ton of people deriding it because it wasn’t “Metallica” enough. Like the Cybertruck being a bad truck.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
27 days ago

I think this is as neutral yet nuanced view that I have seen on the Cybertruck. Kudos to David for that, and this is an article that affirms I made the right decision to support this site.

To me the Cybertruck is a thing all its own, and the issues with it make it the wrong answer for many people. But would anyone even cross shop a CT with anything else anyway? You either want one or you don’t. So you either live with the issues or you don’t.

SonomaSod
SonomaSod
27 days ago

David…personally, I would never be caught dead in one of these. However, as a runner/cyclist, there is a better than zero chance that I will be caught dead on the outside of it.

That said, I truly enjoyed this article. As many (MANY) others have said, it’s hard to disassociate Musk from the company, which is part of the equation here. But the thing I love about Autopian (as well as the writing you folks did at the previous gig) is that you are optimists about cars (and dare I say…even humans from time to time) in such a beautiful way. You folks can look at some small, singular feature from a car like an Edsel (or CT) etc…and see the beauty and inspiration of that one singular aspect and then show us the throughline of how important that one thing was or can be. You folks view car culture and everything related to automobiles like art lovers or music lovers view those endeavors of the human soul. Never change.

Truly, David, I enjoyed this piece.

Scott McAfee
Scott McAfee
27 days ago

Wow! Finally a really great review of the Cybertruck by someone who isn’t a fanboy or a hater. I hope that you someday write a book about the car design journey for the Jeep. It would make a great look into intelligent design and a resource for for a lot of businesses; much like The Machine That Changed The World by Womack, Jones and Roos which was such an important volume for the development of American business.

Rafael
Rafael
28 days ago

David, this is a long long article that I read in one sitting. Bravo!

I agree with you that the Cybertruck is a very unique and interesting car, but I don’t think this necessarily translates to it being a good car.

We car enthusiasts love to complain about the sameness of cars and the ubiquitousness of SUVs, and even though this is from another tired category (trucks), it is a breadth of new air on car design. This is one of those cars that is referred by name, always – no one will say I have a car or I have a truck – for better or for worse, they will have a Cybertruck. The car is, by itself, very cool.

But coolness is subjective, and goes beyond the thing itself. The CT is unfortunately made by a company that I’m starting to dislike more and more, and this put a damper on my appreciation for it. Brand matters, and Tesla right now is giving me almost Facebook levels of repulsion.

Besides, even discounting the toxicity of Elon and his Musketeers, I doubt I would own one. I’m sort of happy it exists, but the compromises + cost (of getting one, of keeping one etc) by far outweigh the coolness I perceive. But hey, if there’s someone to whom money and Musk aren’t an issue, sure, why not, go for it, and I’m grown up enough to let them enjoy their car!

tl,dr: (car coolness – brand toxicity)/(compromises + cost) < 1 , but I’m not here to judge!

Piston Slap Yo Mama
Piston Slap Yo Mama
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

A significant amount of $ goes in Musk’s pocket for every Chubbachuck sold. If enriching a far-right antisemite sociopath man-child is okay with you, great. For me, no scenario exists where I need a “low polygon count brutalist machine” that’s a rolling billboard for my own inadequacies, especially given who it profits.

My Jewish יַשׁבָן won’t ever be seen in one as long as there’s literally any other car or truck available.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
26 days ago

I don’t know where people get this idea that Cybertrucks are remotely profitable this early in production, or that they will ever become especially profitable.

Tesla’s other vehicles aren’t, and I think the Cybertruck is going to be significantly worse in that regard. You know Elon didn’t make basically any of his fortune from selling cars, right? He made it on PayPal, rockets, and by owning an overhauled car company.

Piston Slap Yo Mama
Piston Slap Yo Mama
25 days ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Do you realize Tesla is a publicly traded company? Even if the Chubbachuck fails to turn a profit, the world is full of credulous dunces looking at them and thinking, “I gotta buy TSLA,” aka Musk’s primary piggy bank. FFS, look at his unearned $56 Billion Tesla pay package. It’s barking obscene.

Pro-tip: being a Musk apologist isn’t a good look.

https://www.bankrate.com/investing/musk-pay-package-approved/

Last edited 25 days ago by Piston Slap Yo Mama
Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
28 days ago
Reply to  Rafael

Excellent comment, especially with the mathematical equation 🙂
As for the design itself, it’s perhaps almost objectively (ha) possible to say that it is in fact cool but it could be said that the design is not cool because it’s actually not *sincere* as some of its intent was explicitly for trolling purposes.
Insincere =/= cool
Vehicles widely derided as ugly at launch such as the Pontiac Aztek and the first reiteration of the Fiat Multipla have since acquired some degree of coolness in part because their designs were legitimately sincere, even if some of it might have been by committee, and not created in order to troll people.

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
27 days ago

Fully agree. Great design comes from an honest desire to make a good product.

The Wrangler, for example, is designed for the best off-roading performance and usability.

The chunky fenders, separate bumpers and funky hood latches serve to enable easy repair and modification. The doors and windshield come off so you can enjoy the outdoors, the tailgate is flat so you can hang a variety of full-size spares on it, everything that makes it quirky serves the mission statement.

Meanwhile, the Cybertruck has three goals: To be angular, stainless and yoke-steered, and most of the six-figure price is comprised of engineering solutions that had to be implemented just to make those counterproductive features work.

Time and money were spent on steer by wire to make the yoke work, making geometric rubber-edged hubcaps that later had to be scrapped, chasing stamping tolerances on the stainless panels, and almost all of it makes it worse to live with.

The price was so inflated by the cost of aesthetics that they had to slash everything else just to mitigate that, and the interior, where a buyer would spend most of their time, suffers the most.

The main tangible advantage the CT has over its competition is road performance (in Cyberbeast trim). By now, quick acceleration and flat cornering are expected of skateboard electrics, and the existing drivetrain architecture delivers on those metrics despite the body’s construction, not because of it.

It compromises its function as a truck, as an EV, as a luxury vehicle and even its manufacturability just for the faux-utilitarian, deliberately-polarizing look. I could respect that, if it was at least pretty.

Parsko
Parsko
27 days ago
Reply to  Rafael

This is one of those cars that is referred by name, always – no one will say I have a car or I have a truck – for better or for worse, they will have a Cybertruck.

This. You hit the nail on the head with this. AND, with that said, all of the flaws could have been fixed, and this would have still been true, along with all of David’s other arguments.

Rafael
Rafael
27 days ago
Reply to  Parsko

I’m still working on a “one weird truck and [group] [verbs] [someone]”, but no, matter what I come up, it touches something poisoned on the Internet. Why couldn’t this car been a Chrysler pet project from Sergio Macchione’s era? Or even a cheating Ferdnand Piech’s pet. Hell, I would’ve taken Carlos Ghosn and his suitcase.

Good lord, imagine a version of this for each of those… The Bishop should work on that, complete with a smuggling compartment to carry CEOs.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
27 days ago
Reply to  Rafael

“Hell, I would’ve taken Carlos Ghosn and his suitcase.”
Wasn’t it a musical instrument case or an audio equipment container or something like that? If so, then it’d be a good opportunity for a tie-in à la VW and their guitars https://www.theautopian.com/for-three-short-months-volkswagen-was-serious-about-selling-guitars/

twicetheMF
twicetheMF
28 days ago

This comment section feels like a war one, but I’ll still offer my take about what this made me think.

As a fellow engineer, I think most of us that took that path reached the point where in our studies having the right answer was not enough, it was about finding the right answer through the correct process. In a lot of ways I find this article making an argument for defending the process, and I thought that argument was compelling. It’s something I have to routinely deal with in production environments, do we have the correct process in place, is the process generating the results we want, and if not, is the process flawed or did we just get a statistically unlikely result when we started the ramp up to full production?

But at the end of the day, no matter how we choose to define our process, we’re still required to have the right answer when we’re done. I feel that objectively that vehicle is a “wrong” answer for the vast majority of the automotive public. One could argue how often the rest of the Tesla lineup is the “right” answer, but they’re all vehicles that have much broader appeal than this one. I can’t tell you what the thing is this vehicle does well compared to the larger auto market, and I still think that’s fundamentally a problem, even if it can find a niche set of buyers that don’t really care. And I say this as someone that has weird enough taste in automobiles to hang out here.

But then again I didn’t see any reason why anyone should ever buy the original Toyota Venza, and one could argue that combined set of features that car pulled together set the stage for what dominates the auto market now, so we all miss the mark sometimes.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

The Cybertruck is like a custom car or balut. It’s made for very specific tastes, and those who have those specific tastes are gonna LOVE it.

The downside to that is it is going to provoke an equally strong reaction from people who do NOT share those very specific tastes.

Max Finkel
Max Finkel
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

David, I’m sure some of the response is because there are people have taken a Powerstroke/Cummins, Ford/Holden type approach to this and have turned the discussion around the truck into a mud-slinging contest but much of the response has to do with what it means to call something “cool” and whether that involves zooming out to the bigger context. To me, you have to zoom out to decide whether something is cool because cool is relative.
And so because whether something is cool is relative, it’s worth considering — if the CT really is cool, what would be enough to overcome the purported allure of the “no compromises” approach to the development process?

Because people in here have laid out many reasons to look at what you’re impressed by in light of the cultural context surrounding the thing and they’ve decided that Musk and everything he personally represents simply outweighs whatever is remarkable about the CT and the way it went from concept to production car.

Professor Chorls
Professor Chorls
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

My impression is the people who have negative reactions to it tend to (not universally) have very pronounced, emotional reactions because they also conflate their view of Elon with the execution of the design. As if Elon himself were personally working on it and not thousands of engineers making compromises and microdecisions of their own.

I agree with the core philosophy of the article and of the Cybertruck, in so far as it’s as raw and first-shot-out-of-the-still as they could make it.

Now, as to whether a more conventional looking F-150 Lightning competitor could have sold better, looked better, been less divisive, and more functional…… well, we’re past that point already.

I’ll still buy one in 26 years out of someone’s back yard for $1650 Bezos-Bucks™ no matter what. And weld some door handles to it.

The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

it may or may not be the future..if it is, I’m glad I won’t be here to see it.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Well, to be blunt it’s because most journalists are left-wing, and there is great pressure to stick to the left-wing hivemind, which has currently decided Elon Musk is a right-wing target of highest priority (funny how the timing coincided with his purchase of their favorite social media clubhouse). Accordingly, all his works must be cast as evil, because nothing good can ever come from a right winger, they are only pure evil.

But anyway, thanks for writing the article, as you say it’s becoming more and more uncommon to see actual discussion of Teslas that focus on their merits as vehicles, especially with such nuance as this article.

Pajamasquid
Pajamasquid
28 days ago

This is arguably one of the most important pieces of automotive journalism this year and you absolutely nailed it, DT. For the record, fuck Elon and this is a dumb vehicle, but the world doesn’t need any more CT reviews that are so preoccupied with the former that they fail to present the latter in a way we haven’t heard before. You’re right — the fact that something so bizarre and ill-conceived unconventional made it to production is pretty incredible in this day and age. An unholy union of some of the coolest and most shameful engineering that can be found in a production vehicle. Thank you for always embracing the spirit of technical absurdity, and sorry for the hate you’re getting — most of us know that praising the ride quality of the CT isn’t an endorsement of the terrible things that the big guy has signal-boosted.

05LGT
05LGT
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

But is a story that generates this much hate the one to leave *all* those license plates unconcealed?

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
27 days ago
Reply to  05LGT

License plates are in plain view all day every day everywhere.

05LGT
05LGT
27 days ago

Most to all of doxing is aggregation of available information, still sucks.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
26 days ago
Reply to  05LGT

Who’s being doxed? I really don’t understand the concern.

Professor Chorls
Professor Chorls
27 days ago
Reply to  Pajamasquid

That’s the thing that bugs me the most about the general theme of the responses. They jump too hard to nitpicking the “flaws” as they see them and missed the point DT was trying to make, then attack him for making those points.

Basically every vehicle these days is an edgy egg-shaped CUV because they’re all designed by committees and watered down to homeopathic levels. Whatever deviates from that is subject to reactionary criticism, justified or not. I’d rather see more stupid level deviation than every nameplate having to have a full line card of subcompact, compact, mid-size, and full size CUVs.

Tinctorium
Tinctorium
27 days ago

The issue is that if you want to see more radical departures from the norm in the future, then the present radical departures need to be seen as a success by decision-makers. I think it’s fair to argue whether the Cybertruck is a successful product precisely because it’s level of success/failure has a significant amount of power in shifting the Overton window of “acceptable products” in OEM product planning offices.

Professor Chorls
Professor Chorls
26 days ago
Reply to  Tinctorium

Yep entirely fair. In another comment I lamented that they could have made a More Edgy F-150 Lightning and it likely would have sold better, been more functional, been less divisive, etc. and still could have been 420eDgYkid69. A couple of real cybertrucks could have been hand-built as PR machines.

Tinctorium
Tinctorium
26 days ago

That’s the thing; it doesn’t have be an edgy lightning. I think the underlying assumptions that lead to this version of the cybertruck were flawed from the beginning. Why couldn’t Tesla have made an EV Kei truck adapted for the US market? In fact, it seems like that’s what the designers were pushing form if you look at the last slide on this Instagram post:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C0jJJzziWdo/?img_index=1

Peter d
Peter d
26 days ago
Reply to  Pajamasquid

Here is the thing though – what about the opportunity costs – yes there is some good engineering put into this thing, but for no obvious user segment or application. If you had $5 to $10 Billion to spend to develop one truck, should it be this truck?? It crowds out what could have been something great. If only they had taken Rich & Simone’s Truckla and productized it, they would have gotten to market years earlier and for much less cash and then the profits could funded this vanity project once they had something in this market category. If I were a shareholder I would be righteously pissed off, but apparently the shareholders….

Rob Schneider
Rob Schneider
28 days ago

This is probably the most cogent write up of the Cybertruck I’ve ever read. It celebrates it for what it is, while recognizing its compromises (and sacrifices) for what they are.

Ten years from now, this will probably be “the book” on the first gen ( I’m assuming there will eventually be a second?) CT. Sometimes it just takes a while for the lovers and the haters to recognize the realities.

David, you’re ahead of your time.

Slower Louder
Slower Louder
28 days ago

As ridiculous image cars go, Cybertruck is way cheaper and more practical than a Lamborghini. Which is a win for the truck. Only one downside: you can’t noisily rev the CT’s engine in highly visible urban settings until it catches fire.

Luxobarge
Luxobarge
28 days ago

This is as compelling an article as I’ve ever read on his website. Bravo, DT: you actually changed my mind about this one weird truck.

We should applaud automakers when they do something strange and different, even if it’s kind of a failure in many respects. Because that’s the only way we end up eventually getting something great.

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
28 days ago

All in all a great write-up, DT! Well-thought-out and stays true to your subjective viewpoint. That’s not always easy to do. Kudos.

Also, since I am having a nice weekend, there isn’t a chance in hell I’m reading the rest of the comments, lol. God speed, Sir.

Mike F.
Mike F.
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Just direct them here.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Yeah, let it go. Everybody across the industry knows your integrity can’t be impugned. Don’t engage with the smooth brains. Think of that old saw about the pointlessness of fighting pigs in mud.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Hey man. I disagree like hell with you, but I’m grateful for you saying the crazy shit you do. I know it comes from a good place. You’re a optimist in a cynical world.

The CT is hot steel trash, but the DT is solid gold.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Don’t go to the dark side David!

Jason Lee
Jason Lee
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Hey, DT, just wanted to say I agree 100% on the shortcomings of the CT, and disagree 100% on the conclusions of the article, but I enjoyed reading it like all of your other articles. (See my other comment in this section.) X is always trash, and you should never take anything said on X seriously anymore.

Some meta food for thought: X is the way it is, and the terminally online people, bots and trolls populating X right now are the way they are, because of vision. X being X is not an accident, or happenstance. That enthusiastic vitriol married to online PTSD is exactly what X wants to be, and it has been shockingly good at devolving to its purpose in service of that vision, compromises and all.

What’s the vision? Someone who personifies a divorced dad meme with unlimited resources got big mad that folks on Twitter were dunking on him. He rustled up some bored like-minded vulture capitalist buddies and anti-free speech Saudi money, and then set about with laser-like clarity using his purchase as a big revenge fantasy on all his perceived online enemies inside and outside of Twitter. That’s the whole bag. X is the platform purpose-built for trolls to enact their revenge on their perceived enemies.

Every real journalist bemoaning the sad state of X nowadays is a fine wine to the owner of that vision. Every normal person who gets cyber-bullied by the frothing hordes is just another ego boost to how well that vision is working. Everything is working as intended.

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
27 days ago
Reply to  Jason Lee

I really shouldn’t even respond to this, but I’m gonna anyway.

For all you vented in those four paragraphs, please consider the possibility that how you interpret the truth is not how other people interpret it on a given subject. Projecting individual truth in absolutes as the only truth tends to not be very effective, and often invalidates any cogent points within, which defeats the purpose of expressing oneself in the first place.

Just sayin’. Otherwise, have a nice day/night. 🙂

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
27 days ago
Reply to  Jason Lee

Some other meta food for though: Twitter has always been a cesspit full of the terminally online, trolls, and bullies. You just didn’t notice because the ideological bent the admins allowed to flourish agreed with your own- this is painfully obvious to anyone sitting in the center of the contemporary politically spectrum.

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

 “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
-Marcus Aurelius

In other words, don’t let “just anyone” who happens to have a computer/internet bother you. They don’t have any power to affect your reputation. So, don’t trick yourself into thinking they do.

If someone you respect, or admire, or try to emulate, has something to say, then would be the appropriate time to pay attention to the critique. If it’s some random? Fuck ’em. They haven’t earned it. 😉

Last edited 28 days ago by Janeane Garafolo
James Carson
James Carson
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Shouldn’t matter what you look like. You wrote a pretty good piece imo. I am not a fan of trucks or jeeps in general, but that’s on me. The internet is full of monsters and too many of them frequent xtwatter.

Toecutter
Toecutter
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I like that a controversial vehicle has been offered onto the buying public. It opens up possibilities for design freedom in the future that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.

Last edited 28 days ago by Toecutter
Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
28 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Design freedom for ketamine-addled CEOs. Probably not for anyone else.

Toecutter
Toecutter
28 days ago

ONLY ketamine?

Whatever Musk is on, I want a lot of it delivered to my door, STAT. It has to be good.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
27 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I think the primary drug is Obscence Wealth. And yes, I would very much like to be on it.

Toecutter
Toecutter
27 days ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

I don’t want obscene wealth, just enough to pursue my interests without needing income from a job.

As for actual drugs, OTOH, yes please…

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
28 days ago

I’ve taken a healthy amount of ketamine (for depression, spoiler: it didn’t do shit) but I still never got so fucked up I’d have thought the CT was a good idea. It did make Fear Inoculum a better album though!

Gubbin
Gubbin
28 days ago
Reply to  Toecutter

That is an shockingly generous take from someone with your admirably intense dedication to vehicular efficiency,

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

If there is one thing that has made me weep for humanity, or at least feel despair about the future of the human race, it is social media. What has the potential to allow people to see the best in others mostly just brings out the worst in them instead. It’s tragic, just know that we like and appreciate your takes in these parts, David.

Last edited 28 days ago by Squirrelmaster
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

It’s very silly. They appear to think that their issues stem from some Billionaire somewhere. ???

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I applaud your willingness to be so generous, especially when the hostility pointed at you is so unwarranted. Bravo!

Max Finkel
Max Finkel
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

David, you have not acknowledged the reasons people have given that the truck is wrapped up in the other controversy surrounding musk.

this isn’t “hate for hate’s sake.” it’s a very real issue that gets worse every time someone like you obfuscates it.

Max Finkel
Max Finkel
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

what’s controversial about him David? maybe it’s worth mentioning.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Good, and thank you.

Frankly though, I think you are being a little too accommodating- not with Musk but with the large number of commenters who feel free to just spray every insult they can think of with no rational basis, most of which are openly justified by perceived ideological differences.

Rational criticism, rationally discussed is welcome and necessary on a site like this (and God knows there is enough of that to go on for years RE: Tesla and Musk), but many of these comments are just outright bigotry (“I disagree with him, and that makes him nasty and evil and worthy of hate!”) that your moderation policy would normally cut off if were directed at other targets.

I get that he’s a billionaire CEO, but if you are going to have standards they must be that- standards. Everyone is due equal respect, and if someone can’t clear the extremely low bar of at least finding sufficient basis to criticize Musk/Tesla with the barest hit of common decency, then maybe their contributions shouldn’t be welcome here.

My two cents as someone who falls into neither camp- it’s pretty obvious that fanboys aren’t your problem here.

Max Finkel
Max Finkel
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I get that you’re willing to draw a boundary there. It’s a choice you’re entitled to make.

But, again, you should understand that for the people who are affected by Musk’s behavior and rhetoric, it’s not really possible.

I hope that you might come back and re-read some of the comments you got here after it all cools down because I think you’ll find that, even if you disagree, plenty of what people is saying is warranted or at least reasonable, and that your responses to those concerns reflect a callousness I know you don’t mean to give off.

Ostronomer
Ostronomer
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

That’s really too bad (that some people are only interested in insults)–there really are some things only you get to say–but happily we all get to talk about design! This was a solid (and very defendable) take. I think it’s amazing that a vehicle that is so obviously antagonistic to people *works*. I mean, This is the truck that would open its door, eject its driver (in pieces?) and drive on…

86TVan
86TVan
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Saw the yobbos. Most people think an FC Jeep are cool as shit even if they have no idea what it is. You *genuinely* doing you, is going to be cool–no matter what you wear or how your hair is styled.

AlterId
AlterId
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

They don’t realize I had twrenchfoot in that photo!

To be fair, that photo doesn’t show your feet. And I’ll go out on a limb (but not a leg) and say that, no matter what your feet may look like, not showing them in photos is for the best. We don’t want The Autopian to be that kind of website, even if doing so would make the paid membership count shoot up faster than a SpaceX rocket with an Aztek as its payload.

Ben
Ben
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Love your CT take so hard. Every CT I see 100% sparks f-ing joy. I would never own one, but couldn’t be happier that they are out in the world, changing views on what cars and trucks can plausibly look like. My 8 year old thinks they’re rad. My 5 year old therefore also thinks they’re rad. My inner 8 and 5 year old feels the same, and is genuinely pumped that the Futuristic Cars portrayed in 80s and 90s sci-fi is finally here.

Elon Musk is easy to dislike, and I get how people twist this all up in their reactions. But as a pure emotional response engine, the CT is (for me and my brood) like nothing else on the road.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

You know, it completely doesn’t matter, but fwiw I like that picture of you. It captures so many aspects of your public persona. You look like a boss in it, confident, in your element. If you were an actor I’d say it should be in your portfolio.

Screw those Neanderthals.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
28 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Honestly David, you should be getting all your fashion advice from “spookycartoonspiderman”. I hear his next collection is going to hit BIG at Fashion Week next year.

Rafael
Rafael
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

You don’t look nothing like shit, and I’ve seen some… The only thing you two have in common is that both touch grass – which is something those asshats sorely need.
I would report them, but what’s the point now that the biggest turd of them all is in charge?

CanuckStig
CanuckStig
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

David, I am a tesla model s owner (2017, bought used, put on over 350,000 mostly pain free KMs since 2018, have saved enough $ in gas alone that it has fully paid for itself over the last 6 years). I am a keen lurker on this site… And I couldn’t agree more with this article! I want a cybertruck for reasons I can’t articulate, AND I hate all of the compromises and the musk-baggage! I am reminded of the old old Top Gear Cool Wall. Sometimes it made no sense, AND it was cool! We humans are funny that way.

Just wanted to pile on to say this article like all of your work is great, your writing and topic choice and confidence and accuracy and professionalism are what got me here from the old lighting site and what keeps me here each day. That and whatever lunacy Jason spits out each day – that is gold too!

So keep on keepin’ on friend. We loves ya!

CanuckStig
CanuckStig
27 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Oh man now I feel special! You replied to my comment! Best Monday of possibly my whole life! Well, it will be if the Oilers win… what a comeback that would be.

Last edited 27 days ago by CanuckStig
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  CanuckStig

“I am a tesla model s owner (2017, bought used, put on over 350,000 mostly pain free KMs since 2018, have saved enough $ in gas alone that it has fully paid for itself over the last 6 years”

I’m curious to know the maths on that. I looked into EVs for myself but here in PG&E county (ironically also where your S was made) electricity energy costs more than gasoline energy.

Matt Gasper
Matt Gasper
28 days ago

I appreciate this article as a comment on the execution of a clear vision despite massive obstacles. I thought of this earlier today at Cars and Coffee where a few dudes were talking about a beautiful Prowler only in terms of disappointment. Tesla is not the first automaker to turn an outlandish concept into a real car, but their design and engineering teams still deserve credit for making it happen.

Still hideous, though.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
28 days ago
Reply to  Matt Gasper

Ah, but the Prowler didn’t take 4 steps to simply open the door, and do it’s darnedest to draw blood while doing so.
Visibility was good too.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
28 days ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Ehh, having driven a Prowler, the visibility out the back was pretty awful, too. Not “no window with the tonneau cover” awful, but not good, especially if you’re short.

That’s the kind of harmless silliness I can appreciate, though. The CT, not so much.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
28 days ago
Reply to  Matt Gasper

The Prowler was the Chrysler parts bin with a wacky body attached to it to make a low volume, impractical car. It had a freakin trailer if you wanted a “trunk”. When they use the V-6 drivetrain from the LH cars instead of designing a “proper” V-8 to fit in there, you knew why.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
29 days ago

I think the single biggest feature that I find impressive is …. it’s stainless steel. As someone who’s used to working on rusty garbage, I thought you would have mentioned that a bit more. The design IS the result of the material selection; you cannot stamp stainless into complex surfaces without replacing the tooling VERY frequently, so the decision was made to just fold it using giant brakes.

As someone who lives in the salt belt, if I had to buy a new truck it’d either be a Ford F150 or a Cybertruck, purely for the decision to not use easily corroding steel. I cannot count the number of 10-15 year old trucks with gaping holes along hte sills, rotting lower half of the doors, etc.

Automakers love to make disposable crap so they can sell more shiny new garbage that quickly deteriorates, so kudos to Tesla for pulling it off. It has a lot of compromises but I bet in 2040 it will look exactly the same, unlike all the rotting 2025 Chevy trucks.

VS 57
VS 57
28 days ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

As someone who has been an auto tech through 7 dealers and 11 brands plus working on whatever came in the door, no vehicle has caused more bloodletting than the Delorian. The mail slot door windows have a 100% failure rate, and replacing an actuator requires protection normally reserved for those practicing Falconry. No fan of stamped stainless…

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
28 days ago
Reply to  VS 57

I’m not sure what the windows on your experience dealing with a rare car have to do with my discussion of stainless steel.

05LGT
05LGT
27 days ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

You’re not sure what experience working on a previous stainless steel car has to do with a discussion of vehicle maintenance and stainless steel construction? Either I’m misunderstanding you or you don’t know what the Delorian was.

AMGx2
AMGx2
27 days ago
Reply to  05LGT

Don’t know what a Delorian is or was, but I do know a Delorean.

Last edited 27 days ago by AMGx2
ADDvanced
ADDvanced
27 days ago
Reply to  05LGT

You are discussing power windows being a problem…. the material choice is sort of irrelevant to a poor power window design?

VS 57
VS 57
26 days ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Do you even wrench?

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
26 days ago
Reply to  VS 57

All the time, which is why your statement is so confusing.

“stainless bad, cuz this one other stainless car had a bad window mechanism”

You make no sense bro lol

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
24 days ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Oh I get it. Stainless is a harder material and. Delorean was a low volume manufacturer so (I imagine) they saved cost by not blunting the edges of the cuts where they didn’t see any big risk for the customer, namely behind the door card. When that regulator needed replacing the tech got the fun of navigating a maze of sharp knife edges as well.

So the question of whether Tesla has been blunting otherwise sharp edges of metal beyond a customer’s normal range of touch is a valid one.

No I’ve never worked on a Delorean but I HAVE worked on Bosch dishwashers. They are also made from used razor blades.

Will Leavitt
Will Leavitt
26 days ago
Reply to  VS 57

Please elaborate – sharp internal edges?

VS 57
VS 57
26 days ago
Reply to  Will Leavitt

Yes. The framework stamping is all raw edge once the door panel is removed. I have no doubt that every example with working power windows has some poor souls blood sample inside the doors.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
26 days ago
Reply to  VS 57

That has nothing to do with the material and everything to do with poor part design.

And to be clear, every car door mechanism has sharp edges once you pull the panel off. Either way, this is a stupid way to diminish the benefits of stainless. You must live in NOT the rust belt.

Last edited 26 days ago by ADDvanced
Toecutter
Toecutter
28 days ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

The touch screens and battery shelf life will probably show themselves to be the truck’s Achilles’ heel, if it never gets in an accident(and if it doe$… well that will be a different $tory).

The drive system is rock solid, and the battery pack is better designed than the competition. But damn is everything on this vehicle EXPEN$IVE to fix.

Last edited 28 days ago by Toecutter
Andy Farrell
Andy Farrell
28 days ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Disagree, newer vehicles, for the most part, are more rust-resistant than ever and the mechanical parts hold up better. The tech is the real issue.

VanGuy
VanGuy
29 days ago

Thanks for this, David. I agree–I dislike a lot of the Cybertruck’s features, but I think it’s still admirable as “controversial design brought to mass production.”
Plus, I imagine that hood still manages to be lower than a lot of heavy-duty pickups (even if it probably makes up for that by being deadlier with its angles…ugh. Bad time to be a pedestrian).

Separately: thank you for using the phrase “unhoused person”.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Separately: thank you for using the phrase “unhoused person”

Why? What’s wrong with “homeless person”?

VanGuy
VanGuy
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

“Unhoused” attributes the failing to society/government for not providing housing for all people, rather than the ambiguity (or often hostility) that comes with “homeless”, which to some would indicate “they need to get a job” or other, similar harmful stereotypes and stigmas.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I haven’t trusted a charity since our local Goodwill was caught in a 20 year multimillion dollar embezzlement scam:

“The suspects were charged in a scheme that may have skimmed as much as $15 million from the charity over a period of eight years — possibly the biggest embezzlement case in Santa Clara County history.”

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Investigation-Widens-in-Goodwill-Fraud-Case-3001328.php

Yes it was a long time ago. But I remember.

Yours seems OK though:

https://www.charitynavigator.org/search?q=The+people+concern

Last edited 25 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

THAT word would be “bum”. If “homeless” now equals “bum” “unhoused” is soon to follow. See retarded/special, or negro/colored/(maybe) black. All those were “polite” terms at one point to avoid using a more derogatory word. Now they are considered derogatory too.

VanGuy
VanGuy
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

It doesn’t cost me anything to refer to minorities/oppressed populations by whatever term(s) they prefer at any given time.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
27 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

In that vein, how many homeless or unhoused people care which word white collar folks use to refer to them? Much like Latinx. I’ve never personally met a person of Hispanic American descent who uses that term. But while collar Whites sure love it.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Sure. Just know those polite synonyms will also become hate speech eventually because they do absolutely nothing to help the underlying problems. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, an unhoused person by any other name…eh, not so much.

Now if you REALLY want to make a difference rent an unhoused person a spare room at a price they can easily afford. Or become a YIMBY for shelters and mental health clinics in your own neighborhood. You might find yourself the dumping ground of all the other communities looking to offload their own unhoused problems though. Bus tickets are cheaper than shelters or clinics.

Ineffable
Ineffable
29 days ago

I love controversial things for the sake of controversy, and I do love the Cybertruck. I’m not going to buy one because it’s not what I need, but it is obvious to me why it is appealing to a lot of people. The fact that a lot of people also hate it is just a little lagniappe. My unofficial polling says that about 50% love/hate this thing so that’s just about perfect.

I’m not going to read the comments on this article though, because I have a lot to get done today. However, I can assume that the comments are not going to break anywhere near 50-50. More like 95% negative. The fascinating question is why? Why does the comment section have such a strong bias towards a very prescribed group of things? Even things that are not Elon-adjacent. I’d assume bots but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Thanks for the article, David.

V10omous
V10omous
28 days ago
Reply to  Ineffable

I don’t really care for the Cybertruck personally, but I grudgingly respect Tesla for pulling off the vision.

Also, as someone who’s frequently on the other side of the commenter-approved consensus opinions, I share your disappointment that they exist.

Last edited 28 days ago by V10omous
Mondestine
Mondestine
28 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

“I don’t really care for the Cybertruck personally, but I grudgingly respect Tesla for pulling off the vision.”
It’s funny, I feel the same way. I come from a family of Saab lovers – we’ve had probably 4 or 5 different Saabs amongst us, from the early 80s 900 sedan to an ’89 convertible, to a 93 from the mid 2000s.
I personally hate the Cyber truck, but considering my irrational love of Saabs, I absolutely respect that Tesla pulled this weird experiment off and would be a complete hypocrite if I didn’t.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
29 days ago

I have one and it’s perfect for what I need, and much better in many ways than the F-150 it replaced. This makes me unique in these comments — I am actually using one day to day. Now back to the haters…

Last edited 29 days ago by OFFLINE
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
29 days ago
Reply to  David Tracy

So my experience so far: Only one thumbs down out of a sea of thumbs up, and I don’t live in an urban area. Folks take their trucks seriously around here, and they like this. I always schedule more time for errands because I’m going to be answering questions. Kid’s *LOVE* this thing and I do let them climb in and have a look while I chat with the parents. You will meet people.

The shifting is a non issue for me because forward and reverse are a flick on the screen and I don’t even need to look. You only need to look if you’re putting it in park, at which point the vehicle is stopped and you *should* look. I’m growing to like this so much that the column shifter on my 3 is annoying me. I didn’t expect that. The turn signals are.. hmm. You get used to it, just like you get used to a stalk in the first place. There are stalk options coming from aftermarket.

No door handles: love it. I live in a spot that has winter and all door handles have issues with ice from time to time. This won’t. I park this thing outside. So for me it’s a bonus but I don’t live in LA. I agree that some sort of pad inside the door would be nice and I’ll likely build my own, as well as a small catch to close the door. There’s already shapes out there for this and I have a 3D printer.

Efficiency: It’s pretty damn good, actually. I tend to average about 330wh/m, so I’m happy with it. I do have trailers so I’m starting to baseline the towing, and I’m on the list for a trailer with a built in drive unit (Lightship L1.) I’m also going to stick a range extension battery in the truck as well, so I’ll have plenty of power. This is really a non issue for me because if I take out the truck to tow I’m not in a hurry. If I need hurry, I fly.

The steering. Holy crap, the steering. It’s freaking amazing. It was my #1 issue with the F-150 and the Cybertruck blows it right out of the water here. This thing handles like a well sorted mid-size sedan, not a truck. I live up the side of a mountain and the amount of 3 point turns I’ve needed to make has dropped significantly. It’s also way better for placing trailers. And they haven’t even dialed in the full deflection in the rear yet, so it’s going to get better. This is a full size truck but doesn’t feel like one.

Fit and finish: mine’s fine. No issues. I like the amount of stainless on this thing because we do salt the roads in the winter here. There isn’t much on this thing that can rust.

The suspension: Perfect for me. However, I’m helping care for my MIL who has severe arthritis in her neck but likes to go for drives with us. Two things I’ve noticed: we don’t have to give her pain pills after a drive and she has far less trouble getting in and out of the truck. We have it set to “entry” mode and it’s easy. The fun thing is that you can set things to “sport” and have a good time attacking a twisty road. It’s not as good as my Miata, but it’s much better than the F-150 with CCD suspension. They did a great job on this.

Visibility: Definitely could be better but is okay for me. I adjusted to the onscreen rear view mirror quickly but I also make use of my side mirrors a lot, and those are fine. The thing you have to pay attention to is that A pillar blindspot. The cameras go a long way to making things a no issue if you use them.

Overall I’m very happy with it. I love that it can power my trailer or my house, there’s very little maintenance, and it’s fun to drive. I like that it’s bold and maybe now we’ll start to see other manufacturers be a bit more forward in design as well.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
29 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Sound wonderful for you, a person who lives on a salty mountain far from pedestrians and cyclists.

If only all Cyber truck owners were more like you.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
29 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

This again? Seriously, any full size truck is a danger. We have plenty of cyclists and pedestrians where I am because a lot of tourists come up here to get away from the heat. Sheesh.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
29 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

“Seriously, any full size truck is a danger”

Yes they are. Your point?

“We have plenty of cyclists and pedestrians where I am because a lot of tourists come up here to get away from the heat”

Presumably to walk and cycle on trails, not on the roads.

Last edited 29 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Beatle
Beatle
29 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Probably that you singled out Cybertruck owners which is unnecessary/unrelated if you are against all full size trucks.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
29 days ago
Reply to  Beatle

This is true. The trucks GM sells are a far greater danger than a Cybertruck — have you seen the forward blindspot on those? The *big* issue is that pedestrians and cyclist of some stripe seem to think their safety on road is up to the driver. Look. Both. Ways. And then do it again. I used to bike commute, so I know every car is out to get you. To suggest otherwise is sheer folly.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
29 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

“The *big* issue is that pedestrians and cyclist of some stripe seem to think their safety on road is up to the driver.”

It is in part. Drivers ARE required to yield and not allowed to drive as they please blowing off the safety of others as “they need to stay or get out of my way!”. This is true even on freeways which are forbidden to cyclists and pedestrians.

For their part cyclists and pedestrians do need to be aware of their surroundings and to take responsibility for their own safety as well.

Roofless
Roofless
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

> The *big* issue is that pedestrians and cyclist of some stripe seem to think their safety on road is up to the driver.

It absolutely 110% is. You’re the one opting to operate 4 tons of metal at speeds faster than Lance Armstrong with a tailwind. I’m responsible for mitigating the damage I can do on foot or on my bike, you’re responsible for not killing people with the giant metal block powered by explosions you’ve decided to use to get around. That’s the deal. If someone walks out in front of me without seeing when I’m biking, I don’t get a pass for hitting them, and you don’t when you’re driving either. Pay the fuck attention, you’re the one making this situation dangerous, you’re the one responsible for keeping it safe.

I don’t mind that you’ve decided to drive, I don’t mind that you got a big truck to do it, I’m not judging your choices or needs or whatever, but absolutely yes, you’re responsible for the safe operation of your chosen vehicle and for making sure you’re not creating an unsafe environment.

Last edited 28 days ago by Roofless
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  Roofless

It takes two to tango. You step out of me from a blindspot and the laws of physics will call the shots. That’s just how it is, and how it will be, until we wise up and separate the pedestrians from the cars in dense areas, and pedestrians learn not to cross anywhere but in designated areas. Ain’t happening anytime soon.

Roofless
Roofless
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

But you’re not tangoing. You’re driving a big metal brick through a place where there’s pedestrians. That’s your god-given right in the good ol’ US of A, but if you hit me, you fucked something up. You were driving too fast, you didn’t see the blind spot, you couldn’t react fast enough, or you couldn’t control your high-speed metal brick. That’s your fault. It’s my problem, but it’s your fault. You don’t get to fob that off on anyone else – I could launch myself off a fucking overpass onto your vehicle, and if you didn’t react fast enough to keep your giant metal brick from hitting me, you were driving too fast and not paying enough attention while operating your several-ton metal box in a place where other people might be.

You’re given the ability to control and operate a heavy object at high speeds with the understanding that you’re competent enough to do so in a way where we don’t have to worry about you killing other people. That’s the trade. Slow down and keep your eyes open, even when you don’t think you should have to.

Last edited 28 days ago by Roofless
86TVan
86TVan
28 days ago
Reply to  Roofless

but if you hit me, you fucked something up.

I am a biker, and I don’t ever forget that I am a vehicle that must obey the laws. I have seen a million bikers blow through stop signs causing drivers to jam on their brakes. Bikers and pedestrians absolutely have a responsibility to contribute to a safer way to travel for everyone.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  86TVan

We do this together, and we all own the process.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  Roofless

Nope. And I think you’ll find the law doesn’t agree with your view, either. If you suddenly jump in front of my vehicle, horse, train, rocket… welcome to Newtons laws, you lose. They’ll just rule “suicide by <insert vehicle here>”, because that’s what it is. I don’t control all the variables here, WE do. I do drive careful. You best pay attention too, because I’m not responsible for your safety. You are.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Legally speaking *in most jurisdictions* the driver is actually 100% responsible for safety and/or not hitting the cyclist/ped. Outside of a situation where a cyclist is acting entirely erratic and the driver is placed in a situation where they acted responsibly and cyclist did something wild like cross into the oncoming lane. Hitting a ped there is very little situations where a driver won’t be at fault. It would have to be run and jump into your car while high on bath salts.

As of this Sunday, I’ve collected my fourth episode of getting hit by a car while cycling, so becoming a bit of an expert in the field. All four were 100% driver faults. I was seen by the driver in all four. Three of them were drivers misjudging my speed and pulling into my lane of traffic trying to take left.

Last edited 28 days ago by EmotionalSupportBMW
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago

I’m not a fan of mowing over cyclists, really. I do question why anyone would want to go out and get hit four times though. At some point somebody may get a citation but that’s not going to help you much if you’re dead.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Racing road bikes use to be my job, so it was an occupational hazard. Now, I’m not getting paid to race, still a passion of mine. Only one person got a citation. However, 3 of them did result in pretty significant civil penalties. Which is the real danger when people hit cyclist. Like you get to keep your license, but you do owe me 120k.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago

That’s really cool. Still: how the heck do you get hit 4 times? Where are you riding? Are Teslas out to get you (Which appears to be salient to this exchange.) Is there any way you can indicate to drivers that you’re faster than you look?

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

I will say I wasn’t going at Teslas specifically. More that people often assume that cyclist/peds have more responsibility then they actually do, and legally the burden and responsibility are on the driver. And all four were because people have their personal conception of riding a bike, which is usually 12 mph ish, when I can average well over 25 mph. It’s really a driver ed issue, and teaching that bike speed can be erratic and you should wait and process the situation before acting.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago

I was wondering about this. Yeah, I’ve ridden (and bike commuted) a fair amount, but I’m nowhere near your pace level. I do wonder if it’s a width thing — there’s a book called Fuzz: When nature breaks the law (which I highly recommend, great read) that covers NASA sponsored research on animal strikes with vehicles/aircraft. Their finding was that animals will miss their timing for escape estimate for narrower points of contact — think headlights, or the narrow profile of a race bike — and wider things have less issue. They found that lighting the front of the vehicle correlated with reduced interaction. I just wonder of sticking some bright forward facing lights on the outside edge of you handlebars might help folks better estimate your velocity.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago

And I hear you on the legal assumption, but it doesn’t give anyone a rational excuse to not watch out for themselves. The bulk of drivers are responsible and good, as are most cyclists (although I’m concerned by how many blown stop signs I’ve seen cyclists execute. Not good.) Pedestrians are a mixed bag and I drive near them assuming they are completely and utterly unheeding of physics. Situational awareness matters.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

“although I’m concerned by how many blown stop signs I’ve seen cyclists execute. Not good.”

A cyclist blowing through a stop sign or red light puts only their own life at risk. A vehicle doing the same puts others’ lives at risk. When that vehicle is a full sized pickup whether it be a CT, RAM, F-x50 or a Silverado the risk to others is much greater than if the vehicle in question were a lighter, smaller car.

For example, this asshole who blew through a red light killing a cyclist right in front of a busy high school a few weeks ago in my own backyard (so to speak).

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/other/bicyclist-dies-after-driver-runs-red-light-hits-truck-near-a-san-jose-high-school-police-say/ar-BB1lZFqI

Would that cyclist have lived if the vehicle in question been a smaller, lighter car? Possibly.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Or maybe not, because you don’t have any data presented to work off of. It’s obvious you and I have very different worldviews, though. You think you can ban things and be safe. I don’t believe you. No banning or law is going to get rid of the delivery system that our civilization requires. Then you’ll try to control that, and something very unpleasant will happen to your totalitarian government and anyone nearby. Maybe move to Holland instead? Or stay in CA? We do things saner out where I am now.

Side note: I was a valley resident for many years. I grew up there. You have to be crazy to bike in the valley, unless you hit the Los Gatos trail or something like it. There are far too many distracted drivers.

So instead, we have to coexist, which blows your thesis completely out of the water because it turns out that here, in the United States, you have not much at all to say about what I get to drive. Nor I about what *you* drive. Hell, chances are I’d say nice and polite things about what you drive, because enthusiast. Good night.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

“Or maybe not, because you don’t have any data presented to work off of.”

If you scroll down a bit you’ll see I presented just that to Stig’s cousin earlier but sure, I’ll repost it here for you too:

“Big trucks and SUVs, especially those with flat front ends, aren’t just more intimidating to look at, they are genuinely deadlier for pedestrians, according to new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.”

“Researchers at the institute looked at records of almost 18,000 incidents in which vehicles struck pedestrians. They found that vehicles with grille areas that were 40 inches tall or higher are 45% more likely to kill a pedestrian they might hit.

While factors such as speeding and poor road design contribute to the problem, IIHS said, safety experts have also pointed to the increased popularity of big trucks and SUVs.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/11/14/business/boxy-trucks-suvs-pedestrian-deaths/index.html

“An SUV is two to three times more likely to kill a pedestrian in a collision compared to a regular car, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/about-here-suvs-1.6411168

Linked report here:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2015-12-16/html/2015-31323.htm

And here’s a bonus one:

“I find that a cyclist hit by a light truck is 99% more likely to die than when hit by a car. I find pickup trucks have the largest effect, with cyclists 291% more likely to die when struck by a pickup rather than a car. I find a 100 kg increase in vehicle weight increases the cyclist death rate by 7.4%.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212012224000017?via%3Dihub

“No banning or law is going to get rid of the delivery system that our civilization requires”

Oh are you making deliveries with your Cybertruck? Well you’d be in the minority of full sized pickup and SUV owners:

https://www.axios.com/ford-pickup-trucks-history

Pretty sure Cyber trucks are going to score far worse on such polls than F-150s, especially for towing.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

you lack any interesting data on the specific crash, not your fetish with people driving a vehicle you don’t like. The crash you used as an example was from a person that was speeding, ran a light, and tried to run away. I know that scenario, so I can make some very educated guesses about the circumstances. Even if that idiot had been driving a Honda the cyclist would likely have died. *That* is the data you didn’t present, but I found it anyway.

Once again: you don’t get to decide what I drive. I don’t have to justify my use case to you. Likewise, I really don’t care what you do either. Do you understand this concept?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

“speeding, ran a light, and tried to run away”

That was all in the link I provided.

“I know that scenario, so I can make some very educated guesses about the circumstances. Even if that idiot had been driving a Honda the cyclist would likely have died

“*That* is the data you didn’t present, but I found it anyway.”

Because my friend that is NOT data, that is your conjecture.

Neither you or I have enough data to say whether that cyclist would have lived or died (or been hit in the first place as full sized pickups and SUVs are less capable than cars in emergency situations) but the statistics I’ve repeatedly referenced show he’d have had better chance had be been hit by a (Honda) Civic than a full sized pickup truck.

“Do you understand this concept?”

I’m curious, did you actually read my original reply?
If not here it is :

“Sound wonderful for you, a person who lives on a salty mountain far from pedestrians and cyclists.

If only all Cyber truck owners were more like you.”

Note the lack of /s. That wasn’t sarcasm or criticism, that was praise.

Big trucks and SUVs are more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians than smaller vehicles, that is established. To date there is no evidence I’m aware of that the cyber truck is any exception. Mr Musk has made claims but when Tesla was asked to verify they stayed silent which is not a good sign. You said you live on a salty mountain which I took as (perhaps wrongfully) to have not so many pedestrians and cyclists as where I live, the overcrowded SFBA especially in winter. As a frequent cyclist and pedestrian I’d prefer you, on your remote salty mountain own a cyber truck than somebody in the overcrowded SFBA.

I also assumed (again, perhaps wrongfully) you would be far from shopping so a truck would be useful for taking advantage of less frequent shopping trips, especially in winter and your hardware runs would be for much more than a single box of nails. I took someone living on a salty mountain as someone who uses a truck to do actual truck things like bring home a bi-monthy worth of groceries or a DIY shed far more often than someone in the SFBA where shopping and hardware stores are close by.

Normally I’d think someone in sub/urbia would be better off owning a car and renting a truck for those very rare occasions but not you or folks like you in remote areas as (again I’m assuming) those occasions are less rare and any rental is wildly impractical. I get that. So for those reasons better you a cyber truck than someone in the overcrowded SFBA who will never use it for truck things other than crushing pedestrians and cyclists.

Another perhaps bad assumption of mine was that you have sketchy electricity and that the cyber truck might be a literal lifesaver should you need portable extra power. Sure you have a generator but will it run when you need it? An electric truck with a huge battery is good insurance. Ideally it might even be a buffer for off grid wind or solar but that’s a whole other thing.

Then there’s parking. I assumed that’s not a problem where you live. It is where I live though.

Maybe there’s more. I don’t know your other rural life hobbies. You mentioned deer; maybe you bring home roadkill for dinner, trucks are better for that. Folks in sub/urbia? Not so much.

TL:DR Someone living on a remote, salty mountain is I think much more likely to need a truck to do truck things than sub/urbia truck owners. I took your salty mountain to mean you’re not a cosplay pouser, you’re the actual sales pitch promised in truck commercials. If you can make do with an electric truck so much the better. I really do wish more cyber truck owners, heck, more truck owners were like you.

Friends?

Last edited 25 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
29 days ago
Reply to  Beatle

I am against full sized trucks in urban and some suburban environments where space, especially public parking space is tight and roads are crowded.

Full sized pickups on a wide open, sparsely populated salty mountain where a truck is actually useful to do truck things is fine.

Last edited 29 days ago by Cheap Bastard
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
29 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Yet I’ll drive where I like, just like you can take some sort of obscure Japanese import deathbox traffic obstruction on the roads I use. Yes, we have them up here. Which is as fine as me driving what I want. You know, enthusiasts.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

The difference being an obscure Japanese import deathbox only puts it’s occupants at higher risk and folks outside at lower risk.
As to being a “traffic obstruction” that’s only true if it is incapable of reaching the speed limit which is easily achieved by almost any shitbox made in the past 70 years.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I can tell you’ve never driven one. We have a lot of grades here; they aren’t getting up them in better than “grandma” speed. They don’t have awesome brakes or suspension, so they don’t do so well on avoidance maneuvers. We had one as a shop truck back when I used to blow up reality for.a living, so I’ve got drive time in some. That’s okay by me. You do you and I’ll do me.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

It sounds like you are talking about off road only vehicles which by law are not allowed for use on public roads.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Nope, I’m talking Kei trucks. You can license them around here. I personally like seeing them (because enthusiast) but they do tend to be less capable than the average American pickup truck.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

If they are legally allowed to drive on road and if they are following all the legal obligations of the road then you are obligated to put up with them just as everyone else if obligated to put up with your truck.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Oh look! Exactly what I was saying! Thank you.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Really? I put up with them. And if we work together, it all works great. I’m obliged to look for you. But! You too are obliged to look for me as well. That’s how we do it. Silly Japanese death trap? Chevy bro-dozer? Cybertruck? A bicycle? A pedestrian? Look up and acknowledge each other. At no point did I intimate anything different. I take issue with your assertion that it’s all up to the driver. 999 times that may work, number 1,000 might be Darwin time. If you don’t look, you’ll have no agency in that situation.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Again this is not an equitable (forced) agreement. If anything does happen between you and a pedestrian/cyclist/small car it’s much more likely to be the other party paying the lion’s share of the price in their own blood. It’s also those other folks who have to put up with large vehicles taking up more than their fair share of parking space, truckbutt (reduced visibility) and roadway intimidation whether intended or not.

So it’s quite clear what the other guy is putting up with. Exactly what are YOU putting up with?

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Oh, equitable. Lovely. You do your best and I’ll do my best. When I’m out in my Miata or riding my bike I take the same risks you do. I’ll try my best not to run you over with my super evil Cybertruck, or even with the rental car I’ll be driving around you later this week. You don’t get an equitable forced agreement and neither do I, because there’s always some idiot. Soetimes it’s you. Sometimes it’s me. But it’s aways something you never seem to be able to legally wish away.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
29 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Wrong.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
29 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Please elaborate.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
29 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I see cyclist on our narrowest roads (and we got some footpaths out there masquerading as “roads”) and tons of pedestrians looking at their phones instead of where they are going. There’s a college town nearby, and I’d swear the students have all the self preservation instincts of lemmings. So yeah, I pay attention — no matter what car I’m driving. It’s not too much to ask the cyclists and pedestrians to do the same.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
29 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Are you driving on those narrowest of roads footpaths in your full sized pickups?

Last edited 29 days ago by Cheap Bastard
OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Dude, the local DOT redirected big rigs onto one of those roads when we had a highway outage. Then they had to unstick a few that couldn’t make the tight corners and put enforcement out a few days later. We get semi’s stuck around here on a regular basis. I’m a local, so of course I drive on those roads. I’m very careful because I know where the bad spots are and how distracted people get. We also have a lot of deer up here, and I hate paying for deer-strike damage.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

So yes. And if a semi can drive the road its more than a “narrowest of roads footpath”

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
28 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

They didn’t. Apparently you haven’t driven narrow country roads.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

I have. And I didn’t see any semis on them.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

They got stuck.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Which is probably why semis don’t usually drive on narrowest of roads footpaths.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I probably know the area you live in far better than you do. Twisty roads? Sure. Narrow country roads? You need to get around more.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

You think you know the area I live in better than I do? The area I’ve lived in and walked/hiked/driven/cycled for the better part of 40 years?

That is a very bold statement coming from someone who lives far away up a salty mountain.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I spent the greater part of more than 40 years in the valley. I grew up there. I raised my family there. Then I left because it went to s**t. Oh yes, I know your area very well.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

In fact, I know your area so well I can give you a scenario that might help you understand my country roads better. Take Hwy-17 and block it near Lexington with a massive rock slide. Then redirect all traffic up Black road. Now put a bridge over the end of Black road that goes to one lane and can’t handle even a normal sized box truck. Then force all traffic over that road because the alternate routes require a 20 mile detour. THAT is what happened.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Black road is mostly a maintained divided, paved road with a few narrower sections but still it’s designed for vehicular traffic. Hardly a narrowest of roads footpath. I’ve hiked/biked narrowest of roads footpaths here, they’re a few INCHES wide and lined with thick brush, poison oak, maybe a cliff face or maybe a steep drop. Fine for bikes and pedestrians, not so much for semis.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Run a semi up it. Or a big box truck. I know that road. And I used that as an example; there are far tighter roads up there, and they still drive on them. We do pretty well here (hey, we fix our roads. We got that over CA) but our mountains are a bit more rugged than the Santa Cruz range. Hence, lot’s of tight one lane sometimes.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Sounds like fun. I’ll just go out, get a CDL and ask Caltrans to block off the route.

Still I’m not sure what this has to do with large pickups and SUVs being more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Nobody drives a semi or box truck as a “lifestyle” vehicle, nor are they intentionally designed to be more dangerous than they have to be. The only people who own and drive those vehicles always use them to do semi and box truck things. So there are exactly as many on the road at any given time as are actually needed. The same is not true of giant pickup trucks and SUVs.

If giant pickup trucks and SUVs were ONLY owned and operated by people who used them as purposefully as the owners and drivers of semis and box trucks I would have no problem with them. There would be a lot fewer of them on the road and they wouldn’t be designed to hurt others solely for the perceived benefit of those within.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Pickup trucks have existed since the model T. I get that you have an issue with them. I find them useful for many things, and I drove equivalent vehicles when I lived in your neck of the woods — and I needed the capability. You seem to think that trucks are “deliberately” designed to be dangerous — they are designed to function and appeal to buyers. It’s clear that this is your personal agenda… and you’d love to control what others drive so you can push your agenda. Got it. Conversation over.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

You seem to think that trucks are “deliberately” designed to be dangerous — they are designed to function and appeal to buyers.

Oh it’s not JUST me:

The goal of modern truck grilles,” wrote Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky in 2018, “seems to be… about creating a massive, brutal face of rage and intimidation.”

Giant, furious trucks are more than just a polarizing consumer choice: Large pickups and SUVs are notably more lethal to other road users, and their conquest of U.S. roads has been accompanied by a spike in fatalities among pedestrians and bicyclists. As I wrote in my 2020 book Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Detroit Free Press have pointed to the rise in SUVs and large pickups as the main culprit in the pedestrian mortality surge.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-11/the-dangerous-rise-of-the-supersized-pickup-truck

Anyone with eyes can see it. And the data proves it.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Go implement your agenda. Seriously, this is your jehad. So go do it. I know where you are, so I can monitor your glorious success. I’ll enjoy watching. Off you go!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
23 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Oh look, I have a fan!

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
28 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

The “big trucks are dangerous!!!” people are very annoying. For safety, how you drive matters far more than what you drive. As part of my job I have been involved in investigations of numerous transportation-related fatalities (pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, car vs car, semi truck vs car, etc.). Vehicle size has not been a factor in the vast majority of fatal accidents I have seen. However, I do see a very strong correlation between reckless driving and fatalities (also, a truly appalling number of fatal accidents involve drunk drivers). Obviously, physics favors large vehicles when incidents occur, but an Altima piloted by a methed out yahoo doing 65 in a school zone is far more dangerous than a Cybertruck or F450 driven by an attentive and safe driver.

Drive what you want. Just drive it safely.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
28 days ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

If you are in the industry then providing proof or at least evidence of your claim “Vehicle size has not been a factor in the vast majority of fatal accidents I have seen”.

So lets see it.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
28 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

What kind of proof do you want? While I don’t want to post details about what I have seen in my line of work, I might be able to answer some questions or point you to data that is published.

I should clarify that I have seen a few incidents where large vehicles struck pedestrians they couldn’t see, but those all involved large commercial vehicles (semi trucks, construction equipment, etc.) and not pickup trucks or full-size SUVs.

I am curious if you are aware of data that shows otherwise, though. Do you have data or other reasons to believe large pickup trucks are dangerous?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

Yes:

“Big trucks and SUVs, especially those with flat front ends, aren’t just more intimidating to look at, they are genuinely deadlier for pedestrians, according to new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.”

“Researchers at the institute looked at records of almost 18,000 incidents in which vehicles struck pedestrians. They found that vehicles with grille areas that were 40 inches tall or higher are 45% more likely to kill a pedestrian they might hit.

While factors such as speeding and poor road design contribute to the problem, IIHS said, safety experts have also pointed to the increased popularity of big trucks and SUVs.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/11/14/business/boxy-trucks-suvs-pedestrian-deaths/index.html

“An SUV is two to three times more likely to kill a pedestrian in a collision compared to a regular car, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/about-here-suvs-1.6411168

Linked report here:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2015-12-16/html/2015-31323.htm

This and more came up in a basic Google search. For someone who claims to be an expert I’m surprised you are apparently unaware of multiple IIHS and USgov reports on the matter.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
27 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I’m aware of the NHTSA data. My comment was poorly worded so I can see where you would be a bit exasperated in your response. Hopefully I can get my point across better in this comment.

Trucks are more dangerous than cars. I acknowledged that in my original comment (“physics favors large vehicles when incidents occur”). My point was that driver habits are a much bigger factor than vehicle choice (“how you drive matters far more than what you drive”). NHTSA data supports that statement.

Per NHTSA:

“Alcohol involvement (blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of .01 grams per deciliter [g/dL] or higher) – for the driver and/or the pedestrian – was reported in 49 percent of all fatal pedestrian crashes in 2021.”

“Eight percent of fatal crashes, 14 percent of injury crashes, and 13 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2021 were reported as distraction affected crashes.”

“56% of drivers involved in serious injury and fatal crashes tested positive for at least one drug.”

NHTSA data also shows 2% of vehicle crashes are due to environmental factors and 2% of crashes are attributed primarily due to problems with the vehicle (that includes poor maintenance and failures in addition to design flaws or characteristics of the vehicle that contributed to the crash).

The NHTSA data leaves out a lot of context. A pickup truck driven by a drunk or distracted driver is more dangerous than a Miata driven by a drunk or distracted driver. However, the data doesn’t show that the design of pickup trucks is causing many additional fatalities in the absence of other factors (impaired driving, excessive speed, distraction, etc.). I’m sure some fatal accidents are caused purely by vehicle design (eg a pedestrian wasn’t visible due to hood height or A-pillar design), but those accidents are rare.

I also didn’t claim to be an “expert.” I was pointing out my observations as a person who has worked in death investigation for years. I have seen a few hundred transportation related fatalities at this point. For individual accidents, I usually know what vehicle was involved and whether factors such as alcohol or drug use contributed to the crash. From my experience, the overwhelming majority of traffic fatalities are caused by reckless driving or driver (or pedestrian or cyclist) impairment. The vehicle itself is rarely the problem. My experiences appear to align with reported NHTSA data.

I understand you don’t like pickup trucks, but the real villain is distracted and impaired driving.

Last edited 27 days ago by Stig's Cousin
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
27 days ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

The vehicle IS the problem when it makes the crash more likely to happen and the severity of the consequences of that crash worse.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
26 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Then I assume you dislike minivans and CUVs as well? Both of those are more likely to have a crash and cause injuries than passenger cars. Where is the outrage about all the parents driving Honda Pilots when they could just as easily drive their kids to soccer practice in a Civic?

I’m a little surprised you are trying to argue that vehicle choice is a bigger safety hazard than unsafe driving. Do you really think a safe, sober driver with a Cybertruck is a bigger hazard than a distracted, drunk, or unsafe driver in a Mirage????

It is reasonable to debate whether average drivers should be driving 10,000 lb. trucks. I don’t see these as being a major hazard when driven by safe drivers. If you think otherwise, that is a reasonable opinion.

I don’t appreciate the inherent judgement of people’s character here, though. The guy above just wanted to comment on his experience with his vehicle. Your response was to basically accuse him (and others who choose to drive pickup trucks) of being unconcerned with the well being of others. That is kind of shitty.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

A Pilot is a SUV not a CUV so its on the list too.

“I’m a little surprised you are trying to argue that vehicle choice is a bigger safety hazard than unsafe driving.”

Because I’m not. Nowhere have I said or implied that. All I have said is:

“The vehicle IS the problem when it makes the crash more likely to happen and the severity of the consequences of that crash worse.”

To your dismissive comment “The vehicle itself is rarely the problem.”

Unsafe driving IS a problem. Some of that poor driving is the false confidence of driving a big ass vehicle.

Know what else is a problem? The blind spots:

A study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found that SUV and pick-up truck drivers are three to four times more likely to hit pedestrians while turning than drivers of smaller cars. Since 2018, there’s been an 81% increase in pedestrians killed by SUVs. These studies accounted for a wide range of systemic factors such as age, gender, urban or rural environment, and the design of streets and roadways where accidents occurred.

In other words, the problem in these studies wasn’t the drivers – it was the cars. Specifically, their blind spots.

https://blog.carvana.com/2022/11/suv-truck-blind-spots-are-getting-bigger-more-dangerous/

You can put a band aid on the problem with a camera but wouldn’t it be getter to just fix the blind spot?

“Your response was to basically accuse him (and others who choose to drive pickup trucks) of being unconcerned with the well being of others. That is kind of shitty.”

This is what I wrote:

“Sound wonderful for you, a person who lives on a salty mountain far from pedestrians and cyclists.

If only all Cyber truck owners were more like you.”

That’s not an accusation. That’s praise. A remote salty mountain is an ideal place for a heavy, stainless steel bodied electric truck.

If you followed that thread you’d have seen I said safety is a SHARED responsibility. Others pointed out the legal burden is on the driver.

I do believe some – NOT all – full sized pickup truck and SUV owners whether they admit it or not prioritize the safety of others far below their own because that’s why they buy those vehicles; they’re safer “for me and mine”.

(Never mind they just added to the arms race, that’s now SEP.)

Multiply that for owners who modify their vehicles to make them even less safe for others by jacking them up, squatting them, rolling coal etc.

Then there are the buyers of full sized pickups and SUVs who buy them because of the intimidating, badass styling. That styling is one reason those vehicles are so unsafe for others.

Je n’accuse pas full sized pickup and SUV owners who would prefer to drive something else but drive a full sized pickup or SUV because it is the only tool for the job. Contractors, farmers, ranchers, rural folks etc.

J’accuse only selfish people who buy a full sized pickup and SUV in large part for their own safety with the false belief the burden for the safety of others is on those others.

Last edited 25 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

“NHTSA data leaves out a lot of context

However, the data doesn’t show that the design of pickup trucks is causing many additional fatalities in the absence of other factors (impaired driving, excessive speed, distraction, etc.).”

Because the NHTSA’s methodology blames practically EVERYTHING on the “road user”:

“How many of those deaths do we blame on big cars or bad streets? The answer is, very few.

As I show in my new book, “Killed by a Traffic Engineer: Shattering the Delusion that Science Underlies our Transportation System,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls road user error the “critical reason” behind 94% of crashes, injuries and deaths.

Crash data backs that up.

Police investigate crashes and inevitably look to see which road users, including drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, are most at fault. It’s easy to do because in almost any crash, road user error appears to be the obvious problem.

This approach helps insurance companies figure out who needs to pay. It also helps automakers and traffic engineers rationalize away all these deaths. Everyone – except the families and friends of these 4 million victims – goes to sleep at night feeling good that bad-behaving road users just need more education or better enforcement.

But road user error only scratches the surface of the problem”

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2024/06/25/the-people-who-design-our-roads-and-cars-are-both-telling-the-same-deadly-lie

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

No.

This is simply I think a good, concise summary of why the NHTSA’s data is lacking as per your observation by someone who as a “full tenured professor of civil engineering and a career of 25 years as a licenced professional engineer” very likely knows more about the topic than either of us.

If you like here’s my disclaimer:

I have no stake in this book. Till a few hours ago I had no idea either the book or the author even existed.

Happy?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

The answer was in the teaser so why would I, cheap bastard that I am, pay $30+ to read the entire book? If I want to read it I’ll ask my local public library to add it to their collection. I might but my to read list is already rather long.

OTOH if you want to buy it, read it and get back to us why the author is full of excrement please do. Given you are person who has worked in death investigation for years and uses NHTSA data it’s more your interest than mine.

Mike F.
Mike F.
29 days ago
Reply to  OFFLINE

Although I still find the thing to be awful, I appreciate the view from someone who likes theirs. Thanks for this.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
28 days ago