See the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire System in Action (Including a Disturbing Lag)


Injuring people, bricking after going through a carwash. Multiple off-road embarrassments—the Cybertruck has had a rough first year. And here we are again showing you another example of why the Cybertruck is potentially dangerous to drive.

Today’s latest Cybertruck failure comes to us by way of a tweet on X. In the six second video, it shows a Cybertruck with a driver behind the wheel quickly turning the wheel left and right while the front wheels are in view. It doesn’t take a keen eyed observer to notice the lag between the time it takes for the driver to turn the wheel and the truck’s wheels to react.

Now to be fair, all steer by wire systems lag. It’s just a result of having no physical mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels. For instance, Engineering Explained did a deep dive on the Lexus RZ’s steer by wire yoke system. They called it better than Tesla’s but it still had problems. One of which was the lag. From their observation, the RZ had a 0.28 second lag when sitting in one place.

The Cybertruk looks to be worse. Apparently this steering lag has been talked about online now for months. In a thread on Hacker News discussing another Cybertruck steering lag video on X from earlier this year, a user asked if this could be an issue. The video is 20 seconds long, it runs at low speed to better illustrate the lag. The user observed and calculated based off the video that lag seen was 125 ms. That’s slow. For context, if I was online gaming in a match, that’s match ending lag.

While it’s true that steer-by-wire systems have a faster steering ratio for lower speeds and a slower one for higher speeds, this kind of lag can be dangerous in a situation where a correction is needed as another user on Hacker News pointed out.

⅛ of a second is terribly slow. Delays like that fuck up your perception/feedback loop. If you put on headphones, and listen to your own speech delayed by that amount of time, ,you can hardly speak (delayed auditory feedback). If you have to control a device that delays that much, you’re prone to overreacting, and then entering a run-away correction cycle, which isn’t nice in a heavy, fast moving machine.

Hopefully we don’t end up seeing any videos anytime soon where some Cybertruck owner found out the hard way just how bad this lag can get.

This article originally appeared on Jalopnik.



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