Ever since the Cybertruck was first shown to the public, people have wondered how the enormous front window would be cleaned. Early prototypes had a huge windshield wiper, then later prototypes had a smaller one. We’ve even seen them without any wiper at all as recently as a few weeks ago, though the window still had a spot that looked like it could hold a wiper.
Throughout all of these videos and photos, we’ve never seen the wiper actually working. Nobody managed to catch the truck out in the rain in sunny California or Texas.
But now we’ve finally seen a video of the Cybertruck’s wiper in action with drone video today over Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory facility.
Here’s the full 4k video posted to YouTube by Brad Sloan (with impressive resolution and zoom – well done, Brad). The link is timestamped to 12:53 when the Cybertruck portion starts (wiper starts moving at 13:42):
The truck seems to be undergoing some sort of aerodynamic testing, parked on a rotating platform in front of an airflow simulator constructed from shipping containers. It was spotted in the same position yesterday, but the video is not nearly as good.
However, this is not a true wind tunnel, since it’s not large enough for the truck to be parked entirely inside. So it wouldn’t really aid analysis of airflows off the vehicle, because you don’t have access to the same instrumentation or controlled environment as a wind tunnel. There aren’t very many automotive wind tunnels around the world, and they’re very expensive.
But this could, at least, help to verify the windshield wiper’s functionality at speed, which seems to be what’s happening here.
An employee (who notes they’ve been spotted at 13:23) is standing outside the truck with a spray bottle, and is seen spraying it onto the windshield. The video has impressive resolution… but not quite enough to see individual water droplets.
It also looks like Tesla is prepared to record tests like this, with a tripod standing at the top of the tunnel’s exit. Though the shadow of the tripod shows that it may or may not be holding up a camera.
In the video, we can see that the sweep of the single giant wiper blade does indeed cover most of the truck’s enormous windshield, minus the corner above the passenger side.
Top comment by Elysia
I wonder what the torque effect will be on heavy snow/slush on the windshield with a wiper that long.
We still don’t know if this is the final form of the wiper – it may change designs cosmetically before the truck comes out. And it still looks similar to the wiper that Tesla CEO Elon Musk said would not be on the final version of the truck.
But we can’t imagine they’d be testing a wiper like this, only months before the supposed beginning of production unless it was something close to its final form, so it looks like the wiper is likely to show up in a similar incarnation on the final vehicle.
The Cybertruck was originally slated to come out by late 2021, but has been pushed back multiple times. Most recently, Tesla says production will start this summer, but summer is rapidly approaching, so we’ll have to wait and see.
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