If Tesla’s cars have a Ludicrous mode, then it would only make sense that the new semi-truck would have something equally ostentatious … like Mad Max mode.
While Ludicrous mode amps up the speed of the car, unfortunately Mad Max doesn’t give you any of the road-clearing gadgets enjoyed in the Mad Max movie. Instead, it appears to be a version of blind spot detection used in conjunction with Autopilot.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed the option, which is still in test mode, during a series of tweets yesterday, and carried over to today when he started asking the Twitterverse what they’d like to see in a Tesla pickup — and what he plans to put in it.
“The Tesla Truck will have dual motor all-wheel drive w crazy torque & a suspension that dynamically adjusts for load. Those will be standard,” he tweeted.
(Tesla takes its turn on track in inaugural race series. Click Here for the story.)
He also suggested that the truck’s rear gate should rotate on a four-bar linkage and drop down to the ground, like on larger trucks. Musk noted it would parallel park automatically, use 360-degree cameras and sonar.
Yesterday, Musk was on a roll about the Mad Max mode, even sharing a screenshot revealing a development build of Autopilot with a series of options including blind spot threshold, which helps perform driving maneuvers, such as changing lanes on a highway. The threshold has three settings: Standard, Aggressive and Mad Max.
“We considered going beyond Mad Max to ‘LA Freeway’ level, but that’s too loco,” Musk joked.
The mode is currently unavailable to Tesla owners. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on details of the mode. Musk said it’s a “tough call” deciding which options users will have available through Autopilot, as it also ensures the system still works safely.
(Click Here for details about Tesla suing an employee for sabotage.)
“Reality is that it will be pretty easy to bully a self-driving car, as it will always yield,” wrote Musk. “Will prob have a manual override that requires continuous press for hardcore lane changes.”
Of course, these vehicles could avoid being bullied if they had some way of fighting back. If they had a body guard or, better still, a cyborg dragon! Musk announced in the same run of tweets that he was nearly complete with his.
The problem is that no one really knows what it is and Musk isn’t offering up much in the way of insight. The tweet was the second time he’s referenced it and the Elon-philes have been atwit, er, abuzz about it since then.
After the initial tweet about it earlier this year, it was thought the cyborg dragon was a modified version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. However, the tweet has followers reconsidering that idea. There is some thought that its actually a new Tesla model modified for the desert, which would also make it ideal for traveling on the rough, desert-like surfaces of other planets.
(To see why Tesla is slashing 9% of its workforce, Click Here.)
However, some note that the “cyborg” element of the Tweet implies mechanically enhanced humans, implying the development of a human-brain interface. Another thought is that sometimes on Sundays, Musk gets a little squirrely and whatever shows up on Twitter is best ignored.