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Tesla Cybertruck controversially breaks the conventional truck mold

Last night, Tesla unveiled its long-awaited truck to the world.

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Remember the time when Ford's aluminum bed and GMC's Multi-Pro tailgate were the most outside-the-box thing in the truck world? That was yesterday. Then, Tesla revealed its long-awaited electric pickup truck, the Tesla Cybertruck, to a collective gasp.

The gasp wasn't just from truck traditionalists, it was from auto enthusiasts and tech giants, stock brokers and EV startup companies. Many people expected many different things from the Tesla truck, but what they saw on stage next to Tesla CEO Elon Musk wasn't what most envisioned.

Off the bat, there are two words that come to mind looking at the truck - risk and chance. While Car Twitter bemoans the similarities between much of the vehicles in the crossover market day in and day out, the team at Tesla was taking inspiration from the film "Blade Runner" and designing something futuristic and unconventional.

Prior to the reveal, Musk teased the truck's design inspiration.

He tweeted that the truck could possibly be used on Mars (without revealing the logistics of any type of operation that would get it there).

There's been no word yet on who at Mars Tesla should write a check to in order to receive "Official Truck of Mars" status.

The truck has the traditional truck components. There's a cab and bed, wheels, power source, and a drivetrain. Sure, it's not a muscular beast like the Ford F-150 or even the Rivian R1T, but that doesn't make it less of a truck, does it?

Consider the stats. The Cybertruck has the ability to tow more than 14,000 pounds and can handle a payload of up to 3,500 pounds. Those numbers are head and shoulders above what the Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Titan offer.

The bed has 100 cubic feet of cargo space. That's about twice what the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado short box delivered. None of the pickups currently on the market, with the exception of the Ridgeline, offer an under bed or frunk lockable storage area. Tesla is offering a frunk in the Cybertruck.

The body of the Tesla truck is made of steel, just like the body of most other trucks.

The design was risky and Tesla, a publicly traded company, took a chance. Love it or hate it, the Cybertruck is here. Well, at least one of them is.

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Electric vehicles

NHTSA looking into Tesla's in-car video games

Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game console youtu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3 Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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