New book says Musk didn’t want Model Y to have a steering wheel
Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins’ book, Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century, contains many alleged revelations about Elon and Tesla. The author makes many claims there, like the one about the conversation Apple’s Musk and Tim Cook had a few years ago (which they both deny ever having), or more recently about how the Tesla Model Y does was not supposed to have a wheel steering.
Yes, you read that right – Higgins says Elon Musk really didn’t want the Model Y to have a helmet on, arguing that he was going to behave on his own anyway. He adds that Doug Field, who was Tesla’s head of engineering until 2018, still put the wheel, ignoring Elon’s request; Field was reportedly concerned that Musk was interfering too much with the vehicle’s design process, and he ultimately left Tesla.
We’ll have to wait and see if Musk comments on this new rumor, but the Tesla founder is known to say that the days of the wheel are numbered, and it will be buyers who demand to have cars without. Business intern reminds us of what Musk said about this in 2019, when he explained that
There will be a transition period where people can take over from the robotaxi, but once regulators are comfortable with us not having a steering wheel, we’ll just remove that. The probability that the steering wheel will be removed is 100%. Consumers will demand it.
Now, while the disappearance of the steering wheel from vehicles is an obvious possibility in the decades to come, perhaps not installing one on the Tesla Model Y (launched last year) is an exaggeration. If Elon Musk had really asked for it for the Model Y, it probably wouldn’t have hit the market today, as the self-driving technology wouldn’t have been ready.
Elon Musk isn’t always right and he recently admitted that making self-driving cars is more difficult than he initially thought is proof of that. Cars in and around the year 2030 may come without a wheel (or they’ll still be there and retract when the car rolls by itself), but not having one in a 2020 vehicle just seems silly when you’re driving yourself. . the software is at the start of the beta.
Many buyers who experience the refreshed Model S with its yoke in place of a traditional wheel dislike it and would prefer a regular circular bar. We’re saying that while the yoke looks cool and improves visibility, it shouldn’t have been installed on a Tesla without giving the cars variable steering as well; this is probably another case where Musk imposed his lane even though it wasn’t the best practical solution and the car just wasn’t ready for it.