Hurricane Ian has brought stories of how a solar-powered community fared much better than most, how a Ford F-150 Lightning kept some lives in full comfort while the neighborhood was lacking electricity, and how a Tesla Model X escaped floodwaters, but we’re not done with the Hurricane Ian–related cleantech stories yet. One more that just rolled in highlights the fact that Tesla vehicles automatically roll down their windows and open their doors once submerged to a certain level. You can also see the aftermath of that:
I had no idea the windows roll down once water reaches a certain point. Anyone else? pic.twitter.com/tvZ67JlKh6
— TESBROS (@teslabros) October 8, 2022
The point of doing this is not to ruin your seats, but rather to save your life. Here’s how one tweeter summarized the rationale for this: “Have you tried to open a car door when the car is under water but only 1/3 full on the inside? It’s functionally impossible. Your best chance is either roll down/break windows and escape through them, or wait for car to fill up to the top and then open doors.” Waiting till the car fills up doesn’t sound appealing.
Another tweeter brought up some concerns: “Sounds like a good feature if implemented properly. There should be a warning in the screen asking for confirmation otherwise it creates a danger in situations where it is the wrong approach… and I hope it does not do that when nobody is in the car….” This is a hard call. What if the person or people in the car are temporarily knocked out due to an accident? Waiting for confirmation to open the windows could lead to death. Having water flood on might wake up the people before it’s too late (or, of course, if totally knocked out, it may be their end anyway). Another tweeter pointed out that this could help in cases where the people inside are panicking and forget what to do in such situations.
Notably, it was also pointed out that the car “measures water internally not externally.” So, it’s really only going to do this when you’re getting into a very risky situation. As far as confirming all or any of this, though, I have to say that I haven’t been keen on doing a demo with my car, and most aren’t. Some have found themselves in an unfortunate situation and you can see it in action, such as here:
All of that said (and shown), Tesla is not the first to have this feature. Reportedly, Audi and Porsche vehicles have had this same capability for years. Tesla has also reportedly had it for the past decade.
I knew, lost 2 cars in Hurricane Sandy in 2012
— TONE (@SITeslaTone) October 9, 2022
When it comes to the Cybertruck, though, Elon Musk apparently has other ideas in mind. He has said a few times, including this morning, that the Cybertruck will be able to float for a while and even act a bit like a boat.
Yup, it will float
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 9, 2022
Rumors I hadn’t seen before claim that the Cybertruck will be able to do much more than that. Tweeter “‘Earl Grey Beard” is definitely hoping for bigger things: “Apparently, @elonmusk, says #cybertruck will float & deploy a pair of mini-jets (as in jet skis) & then be programmed to automatically seek out higher ground — but only when it’s been left in Noah mode. But that might be Chinese whispers.”
We shall see!