FutureBoy

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Here's A Look At Tesla's Ongoing Battle With Door Handles
tesla-cybertruck-event.jpg



Jul 30, 2021 at 10:24am ET

By: EVANNEX

Wait, what's up with Tesla's door handles? The Cybertruck apparently won't have them at all.

This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX, which makes and sells aftermarket Tesla accessories. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs, nor have we been paid by EVANNEX to publish these articles. We find the company's perspective as an aftermarket supplier of Tesla accessories interesting and are happy to share its content free of charge. Enjoy!

Posted on EVANNEX on July 30, 2021 by Iqtidar Ali

Tesla has had a bit of a tortured relationship with door handles. It started with Tesla's "self-presenting" door handles on Model S. Then, door handles transformed a bit with Model X — more on that later. Fast forward and door handles evolved to become manual flush-with-the-door handles on Model 3 and Model Y. Now, Cybertruck will go one step further.

mer_1024x1024_7dbe7777-31a5-4f46-8ede-8d75fd71caa8.jpg
Above: Tesla's Franz von Holzhausen hitting the Cybertruck with a sledgehammer at the unveil — was he aiming for those door handles? (Image: Tesla)

According to Elon Musk, Cybertruck won't have any door handles at all. He tweeted, "No door handles. Car recognizes you & opens door."

Keep in mind, the Cybertruck prototype originally showcased door handles dating back to its first public appearance at Tesla's window-shattering launch event. Eliminating these door handles should further flatten the door design, giving the Cybertruck an even more futuristic look. Of course, this would also help with the vehicle aerodynamic profile as well.

At this time, Model X is the only car in Tesla's current lineup equipped with self/auto presenting front doors. As the owner/driver approaches a Model X with the keyfob or a paired mobile phone, the car automatically opens the driver’s side door. The door is fully opened so that the driver does not need to touch any door handles. To close the door, the driver has to press the brake pedal for a few seconds, the Model X door closes automatically (video demo below).
1627951446437.png

Above: Model X's unusual open/close feature (YouTube: John Chow dot com)

But still, the Model X does have door handles. And there are multiple ways to open and close the doors on this car including manually and using the center touchscreen controls. This option used to be part of the premium upgrade package in the past but now it comes standard on the new 2021 Model X design refresh (both Long Range and Plaid).

In turn, Tesla already has the tech in place for the motorized auto open and closed doors. Now, they just need to migrate these functions to Cybertruck. But something makes me think the Cybertruck with "no door handles" will be different — at least according to Musk.

Next up? Maybe no steering wheel. Model S has already gone to "half" a steering wheel with the yoke-style. Once Tesla gets FSD dialed in, door handles and steering wheels will be as passé as combustion engines and exhaust pipes.
 

Suskis

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I think Musk is pushing too much the customers lately. No round wheel option for Plaid S is an example. Why not give the option to paying customers to choose what they want? I think that the "no handle" idea is dangerous and against laws (what if you are unconscious inside your CT and people from outside needs to break in to save your life? bulletproof glass and no handles to open the doors from outside means you're dead)
 

jhogan2424

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I think Musk is pushing too much the customers lately. No round wheel option for Plaid S is an example. Why not give the option to paying customers to choose what they want? I think that the "no handle" idea is dangerous and against laws (what if you are unconscious inside your CT and people from outside needs to break in to save your life? bulletproof glass and no handles to open the doors from outside means you're dead)
Dead horse. Like, really dead.
 

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I think Musk is pushing too much the customers lately. No round wheel option for Plaid S is an example. Why not give the option to paying customers to choose what they want?
Maybe.

If so, we’ll now when sales drop off as unhappy customers walk away from the brand.

While I’m on the fence about it, I suspect the no handles thing will attract more people than drive them away. The yoke? No so sure about that. Thankfully we’ll have a quite a few months with Model S customer feedback before the CT launches.
 

CyberKeggy

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So, maybe I am missing something. But, how will passengers open their doors from the outside? Will the cameras detect someone is there and open? I understand how the phone key would open the driver door, but what about the others?
 

Diehard

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Maybe.

If so, we’ll now when sales drop off as unhappy customers walk away from the brand.

While I’m on the fence about it, I suspect the no handles thing will attract more people than drive them away. The yoke? No so sure about that. Thankfully we’ll have a quite a few months with Model S customer feedback before the CT launches.
99.9% of the customers could be fine with a design but that 0.01 percent with catastrophic experience due to either system failure at the worse possible time or a rare deadly circumstance no one could have thought of is all it takes to change it back. Don't under estimate the power of lawyers. They run the country.
 

John K

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So, maybe I am missing something. But, how will passengers open their doors from the outside? Will the cameras detect someone is there and open? I understand how the phone key would open the driver door, but what about the others?
They slide their fingers along the pillar and door opens if unlocked.

(The following should be ignored)

or, an electrical storm passes and all doors open while driving 80 mph. Also, I am selling bridges today
 

Cebliminal

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Setting aside the fact that the post you replied to was pure tongue in cheek.

I really get tired of this line of thought.

No Musk has not thought of every possibility. Tesla screws up sometimes. Lots of people had to wait multiple weeks for repairs when the the door handles on the early Model S started failing. People dealt with leaking when the doors on the Model X leaked.

It’s perfectly ok to be concerned that there might be issues with another fairly out there door option.

While some people have suggested they won’t buy the truck unless it has handles most of us just want as trouble free an experience as we can get.

Suggesting people should pull their reservations because they are concerned about something is outright rude. This is the sort of slavish nonsense that gives this community a bad name.
The more that pull out the better for my delivery, what other car owner/CEO FIELDS THESE TYPES OF QUESTIONS in public, there is your answer. I think all of these requests are rude, the Cybertruck truck is not expensive and there are limits to everyones requests at these low price points. He clearly went over everything during the roll out and said there would be more, let them build the truck and buy it if you want it, if not drop out. ?
 

Old Pro

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Agreed. I see this as a common criticism of the CT. It's a truck for posers who want to virtue signal. It's not a real work truck. It's a common troupe on Quora and other places for the anti Tesla crowd.

Not being a truck owner it's hard for me to comment other than I feel like I see a lot of trucks around that you'd have to be a giant to be able to reach over the side of. Secondly, what is "real work" anyway? Just construction? What about electricians, plumbers, lawn guys etc. They all seem to drive trucks, they grab some stuff from the bed and do their thing. No reaching over the sides every 5 minutes.
I've had trucks almost constantly all my driving years (I am now 68), my trucks have served me to haul my big dogs, hangliders, camping, weekend warrior tasks, to the target range, hauling 2 kids to their swim and waterpolo matches, haul a travel trailer and jetski trailer, etc. etc. The CT (which I hope to receive at least for my 70th birthday) will be my "reward" in retirement to do everything and anything I want.
 

QuantMech

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Just in from Elon:

In end, we kept production design almost exactly same as show car. Just some small tweaks here & there to make it slightly better. No door handles. Car recognizes you & opens door. Having all four wheels steer is amazing for nimble handling & tight turns!


For those concerned about opening the door on a cyber truck, if it is the same methodology as the Model X (which it probably is because Tesla probably doesn’t need to recreate the wheel) the handle is a push door handle (which will be flush with the door). I have seen and experienced a similar methodology on the earlier model S cars (loaner when my model X was in the shop) where the door handles come out of the body of the door as you approach. On the model X you can disable the auto open doors which would make sense for those situations as described when parking on the street with the potential for a passing vehicle to rearrange the door configuration on the cyber truck as you approach and the auto door open activates (you might be injured yourself in this scenario as the door doesn’t open much wider than the average human, initially it doesn’t open that wide only once you get very close does it get wide enough for you to actually get in). Another possibility with the auto open doors would be: parked on street with driver side door facing pedestrians walking along crowded sidewalk and inadvertently get cup checked as the door opens upon your approach (not very probable but still possible if you live/work in a high concentration of people downtown area where the streets are frequently jam packed with people and you park frequently in the wrong direction of the usual required by law in the states). The ability to disable auto door open makes all these scenarios and most others a mute point.

The scenario of emergency personnel or Good Samaritan extracting you from a crashed vehicle would likely push the door handle to open the door as it would be probably be unlocked (if door is jammed closed handle or not won’t make a difference) in the event of a crash, if it is emergency personnel they will probably be well versed in accessing the interior of any Tesla to extract crash victims and they would not be slowed down in the least if time is of the essence because the window will be broken (assuming it isn’t already) as needed for expediency. While there are a variety of highly improbably possibilities one could come up with to raise issue with the no door handle scenario it is probably no greater than the scenarios that having a door handle could raise. If it is something that has true concern for the owner i would think that traditional handles could be retrofitted either at the assembly plant for free or for a nominal fee of the new vehicle or by the service center in the case of a used vehicle purchase again fee for service possible.

The key is what is recognized as opposed to the facial recognition that some have proposed as a potential issue, so facial hair, glasses,…would NOT be an issue.

IMHO, we should all keep in mind that Tesla has been a fairly upstanding car manufacturer especially since they are still in their infancy in comparison to many of their counterparts in the world of auto production. That said, they are still a company run (mostly) by human beings and are still bound by all the shortfalls that humanity is plagued.

Tesla has been exciting to watch and be involved with as a consumer from my perspective. They are potentially helping society to solve what is generally recognized as some significant negative environmental conditions that the combustion engine has contributed, while only time will tell to what degree positive or negative this energy transition to battery powered vehicles (and other non gasoline/diesel powered generated engines) can help solve.

The problems that arise (temperature, water, ice, excess/deficiency of molecules of some kind in the atmosphere, weather patterns,…) from the actions we take as a society are in great debate and, not to mention, debate of what/how we should proceed are complicated to say the least. We all have our opinions and should, at the very least, be allowed to express them.

Life is an adventure, enjoy as many journeys along the way as you can.
 

jhogan2424

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For those concerned about opening the door on a cyber truck, if it is the same methodology as the Model X (which it probably is because Tesla probably doesn’t need to recreate the wheel) the handle is a push door handle (which will be flush with the door). I have seen and experienced a similar methodology on the earlier model S cars (loaner when my model X was in the shop) where the door handles come out of the body of the door as you approach. On the model X you can disable the auto open doors which would make sense for those situations as described when parking on the street with the potential for a passing vehicle to rearrange the door configuration on the cyber truck as you approach and the auto door open activates (you might be injured yourself in this scenario as the door doesn’t open much wider than the average human, initially it doesn’t open that wide only once you get very close does it get wide enough for you to actually get in). Another possibility with the auto open doors would be: parked on street with driver side door facing pedestrians walking along crowded sidewalk and inadvertently get cup checked as the door opens upon your approach (not very probable but still possible if you live/work in a high concentration of people downtown area where the streets are frequently jam packed with people and you park frequently in the wrong direction of the usual required by law in the states). The ability to disable auto door open makes all these scenarios and most others a mute point.

The scenario of emergency personnel or Good Samaritan extracting you from a crashed vehicle would likely push the door handle to open the door as it would be probably be unlocked (if door is jammed closed handle or not won’t make a difference) in the event of a crash, if it is emergency personnel they will probably be well versed in accessing the interior of any Tesla to extract crash victims and they would not be slowed down in the least if time is of the essence because the window will be broken (assuming it isn’t already) as needed for expediency. While there are a variety of highly improbably possibilities one could come up with to raise issue with the no door handle scenario it is probably no greater than the scenarios that having a door handle could raise. If it is something that has true concern for the owner i would think that traditional handles could be retrofitted either at the assembly plant for free or for a nominal fee of the new vehicle or by the service center in the case of a used vehicle purchase again fee for service possible.

The key is what is recognized as opposed to the facial recognition that some have proposed as a potential issue, so facial hair, glasses,…would NOT be an issue.

IMHO, we should all keep in mind that Tesla has been a fairly upstanding car manufacturer especially since they are still in their infancy in comparison to many of their counterparts in the world of auto production. That said, they are still a company run (mostly) by human beings and are still bound by all the shortfalls that humanity is plagued.

Tesla has been exciting to watch and be involved with as a consumer from my perspective. They are potentially helping society to solve what is generally recognized as some significant negative environmental conditions that the combustion engine has contributed, while only time will tell to what degree positive or negative this energy transition to battery powered vehicles (and other non gasoline/diesel powered generated engines) can help solve.

The problems that arise (temperature, water, ice, excess/deficiency of molecules of some kind in the atmosphere, weather patterns,…) from the actions we take as a society are in great debate and, not to mention, debate of what/how we should proceed are complicated to say the least. We all have our opinions and should, at the very least, be allowed to express them.

Life is an adventure, enjoy as many journeys along the way as you can.
Thanks.
 

 

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