Due to their aerodynamic features, Tesla electric cars are characterized by a large windshield, very sleek and having continuity in the panoramic roof. This has led its engineers to consider ingenious solutions, different from the usual ones, to be able to sweep a large area like this. For this reason, Tesla has invested in a great deal of research activity on these systems, aware of the implications it has for design, safety, the operation of advanced safety systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving.
In the case of the Tesla Cybertruck, among the many novelties and updates caused by its strange triangular and rectilinear design, there is a huge windshield necessary to adjust to a very aerodynamic geometry. Right from the beginning many experts wondered what Tesla would come up with to clean up this huge area; and speculation, rumors - and actual tests by the manufacturer - did not stop ever since.
The first prototypes of the pick-up showed a huge windshield wiper that seemed to be provisionally mounted for testing and checking on the truck. Subsequently, and also very recently, other units were sighted that completely dispensed with it, although the space in which the mechanism should be hidden when installed was guessed.
On none of these occasions has the windshield wiper been seen actually working. Nobody really managed to photograph it in the rain in the previous development tests carried out in California and Giga-Texas. But now a video recorded from a drone in Austin has finally revealed one of Tesla's best kept secrets.
The video, recorded in 4K and posted on YouTube by BradSloanvideos, shows a full flight over the Tesla facility. It is from minute 12:53 when a prototype of the Cybertruck appears in front of what appears to be some sort of wind tunnel made by Tesla from various containers. Right in front of it the electric pick-up appears to be undergoing an aerodynamic test, parked on a turning platform. However, this is not large enough for the vehicle to fit inside, so the wiper verification test is performed outside.
Then a Tesla employee sprays the huge window with a spray bottle while the wind simulates the car is moving. A tripod with a camera located next to the operation seems to record the entire sequence so that it can later be analyzed by the engineers and thoroughly check the operation of the system. In the video, you can see how the sweep of the gigantic and apparently heavy windshield wiper covers most of the glass, except for the right passenger corner.
It's not yet 100% sure that this is the final form of the wiper; the design may vary before production begins, although it is a similar solution to the one Tesla sported in their presentation. On it, Elon Musk assured that it would not be in the final version; but just a few months before the actual production starts, common sense tells that it would not make much sense for tests to be carried out with a windshield wiper that is not going to be finally assembled.
It seems that Tesla has come up with an ingenious solution for the massive windshield wiper needed for the Cybertruck's large and aerodynamic windshield. As explained before, the drone video taken in Austin shows an employee testing the windshield wiper by spraying the window with a spray bottle while the wind simulates that the car is moving. While it is not yet official if this is the final design, it is likely that this windshield wiper will be used in the production model.
It is worth mentioning that, clearly, Tesla's commitment to innovation and unconventional design is unparalleled in the automotive industry. The company's dedication to ensuring safety while pushing boundaries has resulted in a unique and efficient solution for the Cybertruck's windshield wiper. It is exciting to see how Tesla's dedication to research and development constantly leads to new breakthroughs in design and engineering. We can only imagine what other surprises Tesla has in store for us in the future.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.