Tesla "can't ignore other road users", says car safety boss.
The Tesla Cybertruck is quickly turning into the villain of the truck world. If its appearance isn't offensive enough, you'll probably have balked at video footage of it apparently embarrassing America's favorite truck, the Ford F-150. And now, there's another reason to approach the Cybertruck with caution: safety. According to a report from News.com.au, both the Cybertruck's shape and construction could pose a risk to pedestrians.
James Goodwin, the chief executive of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), particularly criticized the Cybertruck's harsh frontal design. "It's got a fairly harsh front and not a whole lot of areas that would provide some give if there was a strike with a pedestrian," he said.
ANCAP is Australia's equivalent of North America's own Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), performing similar crash tests on new vehicles. Goodwin also pointed out that while other Teslas have scored highly for occupant protection, the cars haven't prioritized pedestrian and cyclist safety to the same extent. "We've got a concern that Tesla is very interested in the occupants of the vehicle, but it can't ignore other road users as well. ANCAP's protocols are well known and what we would expect is that a vehicle should be able to protect the occupants of the vehicle as well as those other road users."
While Elon Musk spoke highly of the Cybertruck's strong steel "exoskeleton" which is highly resistant to dents, Goodwin hinted that the structure may not absorb as much energy as needed for the occupants inside. That said, we highly doubt that Tesla would release the Cybertruck if it didn't - at the very least - perform well in crash tests.
In all likelihood, Tesla will have to significantly tone down and soften the Cybertruck's sharp edges to adhere to international vehicle safety standards. If not, and the final design closely resembles its current form, at least pedestrian safety will be improved because people are sure to go running and screaming in the opposite direction at the sight of an approaching Cybertruck.