New patent applications filed by Tesla in 2020 but published Thursday have revealed some more information about the Cybertruck, which is currently expected to ship in late this year or early 2022. of screenshots of the new UI that Tesla has been working on. Another outlines how the company plans to integrate solar panel technology into the retractable tonneau cover for the truck floor – something that, according to CEO Elon Musk, could be an option. And there even appears to be a demand for what could be Tesla’s so-called “armor glass,” which failed memorable at a demonstration onstage in 2019.
We’ve seen a glimpse of Tesla’s new UI before, at the Cybertruck reveal and when the head of the company’s UI left earlier this year. But the patent application (PDF) – which has to do with how the user interface changes in different situations – shows how Tesla may eventually exhibit some features specific to the Cybertruck. For example, one screen shows what the screen of the Cybertruck might look like when you try to connect a trailer to the towbar. A more off-road focused screen shows the real-time pitch and roll of the truck. A new “Today” screen shows a split window of a calendar, “news” section, and other UI elements.
Perhaps the most curious is the ‘durable glass for vehicles’ patent application (PDF), however. Although Tesla filed it on the same day as these other Cybertruck patent applications, the truck is not explicitly mentioned, but instead features an image of a more generic Tesla vehicle. That said, one of the inventors is engineer Rosie Mottsmith, who originally helped develop the ‘armored glass’. for Tesla’s Semi-truck.
The application describes something similar to Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Tesla describes a glass that consists of three layers: an outer, an inner and a self-adhesive intermediate layer. The outer layer is 2mm to 5mm thick and made of borosilicate. The internal layer is 0.5mm to 1.1mm thick and is made of aluminum silicate. Corning uses both materials.
Tesla says the goal is to give the resulting glass sandwich “up to a 10% failure rate with a 2J impact.” In a PDF Corning describes an older version of Gorilla Glass and rates a 1.5mm thick piece at about 3.5J impact. This was achieved by dropping a half kilo steel ball. Where have I heard that before …