Elon Musk promises Tesla pickup is coming, teases in-car Disco Mode

Elon Musk promises Tesla pickup is coming, teases in-car Disco Mode
Elon Musk speaks at an Nvidia conference
Elon Musk speaks at an Nvidia conference
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Elon Musk speaks at an Nvidia conference
Elon Musk speaks at an Nvidia conference

In a seemingly impromptu Twitter Q&A yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed some further details about the company's expansion into larger forms of terrestrial electric vehicles. Promising that a long-awaited pickup truck was indeed on the way, he also hinted at a few upcoming software upgrades to make life easier for existing Tesla owners.

Tesla first signaled its intentions to move into the trucking space when Musk published Master Plan, Part Deux in July of 2016. Musk wrote of the Tesla Semi's potential to "deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport," and also listed a new kind of pickup truck as part of its strategy to hit most segments of the consumer market.

Musk then took to Twitter in April last year to state that the pickup unveil was 18 to 24 months away. His latest public statements on the matter don't do much to clarify this timeline, but do suggest he hasn't lost any enthusiasm for the project.

"I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y," he tweeted. "Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years. Am dying to build it."

The Tesla Model Y is Tesla's upcoming all-electric compact SUV, expected to be built on a new vehicle platform and launched in 2019 at the earliest. Musk expanded a little on what the pickup might look like, in response to a Twitter user asking how it would compare to America's best-selling pickup, the Ford F-150.

"Similar total size," he tweeted. "Maybe slightly bigger to account for a really game-changing (I think) feature I'd like to add."

What that game-changing feature might be is anyone's guess, but Musk did tease a few new bells and whistles for those with a Tesla already parked in the driveway. According to the tech tycoon, new features to be added via software updates in the near future include app-controlled window, seat and steering wheel heaters, an upgraded browser, "vastly better" maps and navigation and windscreen wipers that adjust their speed automatically depending on how heavy the rainfall is.

Musk also appeared to okay a number of other requests from owners, but without specifying a timeline. These include a feature where internal cameras automatically start recording if the windows are smashed in the event of a break-in, the navigation system sending an alert to other family members about what time to expect you home and some kind of Disco Mode, where ambient light changes in time to funky beats.

"Was gonna say we'll do all but the last, but that last one sounds like good, cheesy fun :)," he said.

Source: Twitter

I think it is pretty easy to guess what, "the game changing feature" will be... IMHO it will be "swappable battery packs." Since owning a truck, as I do suggests a degree of handiness, and a get-r-done attitude, being able to swap out battery packs seems logical. That way my (12Kw) solar panels can charge battery back #2 while I am driving around with battery pack #1. This site has reported on little route trucks already doing this in India(?), I recall. Elon, if you're listening put me down for a 4wd pickup, preferably in red, white, and blue... Better still park on in my driveway with a big bow on it a few Christmases from now, Please.
Rustin Lee Haase
Except for urban cowboy-wannabees, pickups are practical tools and Tesla needs to make a pickup that is truly an improvement over current options from a practical perspective. Using less (or no) fuel is a start. Lots of torque, is progress, but it must be able to carry multiple sheets of plyboard while closing the tailgate and be able to tow large trailers for hundreds of miles without breaking a sweat. Pickups also go out to places where chargers are unavailable and Tesla needs to be prepared for that. I'd reccomend a full electric drive train with a motor for each wheel and an interface for an onboard charging unit that is powered by whatever fuel is convenient like gasoline or deisel. Let the buyer decide on the battery capacity and fuel type with the option of removing the charging unit for storage when not going on any trips soon. Its one thing to make an electric pickup. Its another thing to make it useful in a place where pickups get used. I should know. I live in the town with the biggest pickup dealership on the planet.
Crikey, if he puts a Disco Mode into it, I'll =never= buy one. Ick~! //
Hmm, I hope he puts one of two things in it: a dump bed, or a bed which can hinge itself to the ground for ease in unloading. Something like this skip lorry, but in a pickup style, maybe with internal mechanisms: //
Swappable batteries had better be one of his next two tricks, though.
Not seeing it. A PU is the only thing I'll drive but you'd think if Musk was going to have something production ready in 2 years as he claims, he'd at least have a sketch on board that we could view. I don't see a sketch, do you? 4wd, standard cab, short bed pls.