Innovation

Musk Reads: Cybertruck hits the streets

Musk revives his grand solar idea and new apps are coming to in-car systems. Also, is the Cybertruck brutalist?

Musk revives his grand solar idea and new apps are coming to in-car systems. Also, is the Cybertruck brutalist? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #129.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk quote of the week

“We’ll aim to have it come out same time as truck. Two seater electric ATV designed to work with Cybertruck will be fun! Electric dirt bikes would be cool too. We won’t do road bikes, as too dangerous. I was hit by a truck & almost died on one when I was 17.”

Tesla

The Cybertruck is not brutalist, expert Mark Pasnik told Inverse this week. Pasnik, a professor of architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology, described the truck as “jarring, unfamiliar, and strangely alluring.” Is it brutalist, though? Pasnik argues that “the intentions and ideas behind the truck and those behind brutalism could not be more divergent.” Read more.

Inverse looked back at its 2019 predictions one year on. How did we do? The Model 3 did indeed reach high sales figures and the Model Y did help cement electric cars. However, the competition failed to challenge Tesla on electric vehicle range like we predicted, and the Solar Roof didn’t ship in two more designs because the company instead unveiled the third-generation model. Perhaps the most surprising win was predicting that an autonomous car would travel across the United States with zero disengagement — a feat not achieved by Tesla, but by Pronto.AI. Read more.

Evidence from Twitter user “greentheonly” suggests Tesla vehicles will soon get new apps like Crunchyroll, Comedy Central, Twitch, HBO Go, HBO Now, Mixer, YouKu, and, er … Monty Python.

Tesla solar

Musk reignited his plan to power the United States entirely on solar this week. The CEO declared on Twitter that because solar power is a gigawatt per square kilometer, you just need a 100-by-100-mile patch of desert in Texas to transition the entire United States. Third-party analysis agrees, and it’s not the first time he’s shared the idea. It bears similarities to another proposal to cover the Sahara Desert in solar to power the entire world. Read more.

The world’s largest virtual power plant, under construction by Tesla, has already stepped in to save the grid. The South Australia project is expected to cover 50,000 homes with solar panels and a Powerwall. On October 9, it plugged the 748-megawatt gap left when the Kogan Creek coal plant went offline. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to host a Battery Investor Day on an undisclosed date. After the Cybertruck launch, Musk stated that the company wouldn’t be unveiling any new products for a while, so this could be one of the biggest reveals in an otherwise quiet 2020.

Musk Reads mailroom

Grant Hendricks writes:

Sentry Mode watches the car, recording motion events.

I work security and there is a great need to watch a gate, to control that gate automatically under the direction of the security guard.

Programming the cameras to coordinate with someone to control an event like a gate, up or down, and find licence plates, or people and record them would make Tesla cars indispensable to security and police.

Seems like a good idea to us!

Got any comments or queries? Don’t forget to send them over to muskreads@inverse.com.

Video of the week

Musk hits the streets of Los Angeles with the Cybertruck.

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The ultra-fine print

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A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

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