A few years ago, I spent some time driving for Uber and Lyft. During the day, commuters and people headed for the airport were usually in their right minds. But at night (especially on the weekends), I shared my time with a lot of impaired people. Alcohol, as you might suspect, was the most common thing separating people from their sobriety, but a variety of other drugs were often involved. Some people even entered the car (with help from friends who were sending them home) actively tripping.
Tripping or not, the hard drug users often had some interesting conversations. Despite coming from a religious background that frowned upon drug use (caffeine was even sometimes controversial), I learned a LOT about drugs. People told me about what it feels like to take common non-dangerous drugs like marijuana, and even some of the benefits in pain relief they had experienced. Some people bragged about using meth (and looked the part), while others admitted to using heroin and cocaine.
But, the most interesting conversations were usually about drugs like DMT, also known as ayahuasca. These drugs are not only fashionable for the wealthy and well-connected to talk about, but they appear in conversation on shows like The Joe Rogan Experience. The first Christian missionaries who encountered ayahuasca called it “the work of the devil,” and likely because it was both unfamiliar and connected to the rituals of religions they wanted to wipe out.
Today, a number of both native and new religions use the drug in their rituals, and it’s a serious topic of academic, scientific, and even medicinal study. There are even serious researchers who think DMT is allowing people’s consciousness to experience something real, like an alternate universe, and that this merits further research.
But, despite learning a lot about these drugs, there’s one thing I don’t know: what Elon Musk was using in 2018 and 2019 when he pushed Tesla to make the Cybertruck prototype (see the note at end before taking this assertion seriously). I know many readers are fans of the truck, but even you guys have to admit that it was a very unconventional and even controversial choice. Many of the truck’s biggest fans had a bad reaction to it initially, and then it grew on them (like a fungus).
Whatever it was that put Elon in a state of consciousness where the Cybertruck seemed like a good idea, he seems to have continued using the stuff. Despite some serious challenges faced getting it into limited production, he kept pushing Tesla toward making the truck. Even now, Elon admits that the troubles of getting it to mass production are far from over, and he even said, “We dug our own grave with Cybertruck.”
I doubt Elon will tell us what drugs he was using that led to Cybertruck (again, see the note at the end of the article if you think I’m serious), but there may be a way to figure it out now. A recent Nissan concept vehicle, called the “Hyper Punk,” has some very similar vibes.
Nissan says the Hyper Punk concept is a next-generation crossover that seamlessly connects the virtual and physical worlds. It offers a vehicle-to-everything system for charging devices and sharing energy. Inside, Japanese-inspired origami elements blend digital and art, with AI converting captured scenery into manga-style imagery. The cockpit features a three-screen display, merging reality and the metaverse.
Why do all this? To somehow appeal to content creators. Or something. The company says it’s a mobile creative studio that offers seamless internet connectivity and device integration for on-the-go access to information and creation. Equipped with AI and headrest biosensors, it can detect the driver’s mood and adjust the music and lighting accordingly, enhancing energy and creativity.
Maybe it will get people past writer’s block? Cure hangnails that get in the way of design and/or typing? We don’t know, because Nissan is probably not going to actually build this.
Nissan designed the concept to stand out, especially with its multifaceted and polygonal exterior design. Its silver paint (that presumably won’t smudge like a refrigerator or Cybertruck) changes tones with different angles and lighting, adding to its unique appeal. The bold and powerful style defies minimalism, reflecting the user’s desire for self-expression and breaking conventions. Nissan says this represents the company’s progressive approach to technology and design.
Unhappy even with round-looking wheels, the concept render even has some weird wheels with triangles to make it look like the company literally reinvented the wheel!
So, if they got into the same hypothetical drug that Elon smoked, where reality looks better with sharp angles, reflective surfaces, and hard-to-build prototypes that bury the company’s future, then Nissan is definitely smoking either more of the stuff or smoking a much stronger variant of it, right?
But Seriously, Though
Unlike Tesla, this is probably one of the many concept cars that never come to fruition. It would be difficult for anybody to build, isn’t very practical, and wouldn’t appeal to a very wide demographic. But, it looks flashy and gets some attention (which I’m admittedly giving Nissan right now, ironically enough).
But, engineers need to have fun and some of the ideas that they come up with may eventually show up in real-world vehicles (even if in a much milder form). So, concepts like this aren’t a complete waste of time, or even a waste of time at all. Hopefully we see the better ideas from this concept get into some real-world vehicles.
Nissan might dig its own grave making other mistakes, but the Hyper Punk probably won’t be it.
Note to people with no sense of humor and for “hardcore” lawyers: No, I’m not really saying that Elon Musk is a drug user or that Cybertruck was really the result of drug use. This should be obvious by now, as I comedically compared his choice to a similar one by Nissan’s designers, who also probably aren’t drug users. Sending us another “I didn’t read your article” C&D would only be a good way to get mocked online, and may even lead to people thinking Elon really does do hard drugs (Streisand Effect).
Featured image provided by Nissan.
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