Tesla Highly Ranked in Vision, Products and Trajectory, but Other Categories Take a Hit

By Kevin Armstrong

Tesla's ranking according to Axios in several categories when compared to others

Tesla took a significant dip in this year’s Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation rankings, dropping from number 12 to number 62, which places the company in the “Good” category. This significant dip comes amidst a shifting landscape for the EV industry, Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, and concerns over the CEO’s focus. Before we go too far, it’s important to note that the information for this study was compiled from March 13 to 28.

The Axios Harris Poll is a respected annual survey that measures the reputations of America’s most visible brands. This year, the survey compiled the opinions of 16,310 Americans. Respondents were asked to rate the companies that, in their opinion, stand out for having the best and worst reputations today.

Despite the drop, Tesla did achieve “Excellent” scores in the trajectory, vision, and products and services categories, signifying a strong appreciation for the company’s innovations and future-focused mindset. However, it received “Fair” marks in trust, character, and citizenship.

Musk’s Twitter Takeover and the Impact on Tesla

This decline coincides with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter. According to Axios’ Sara Fischer, the shift in reputation could be attributed to several factors related to Musk’s decision. First, the stock dump necessary for the Twitter acquisition raised eyebrows. Second, shareholders have accused Musk of neglecting Tesla, calling for him to appoint a new CEO for Twitter to refocus his attention on the EV manufacturer.

Again, important to note that the situation has already changed. Musk has appointed Linda Yaccarino as Twitter’s new CEO. Musk also rebuffed rumors that he would leave Tesla, stating that the new Twitter CEO will allow him to spend more time at Tesla.

Tesla’s Continued Strength in Innovation Amidst Challenges

Furthermore, Tesla’s status as the unrivaled trailblazer in the EV field is being increasingly challenged. Major traditional automakers, like Ford, Honda, and Toyota, have begun to invest heavily in electric vehicles, chipping away at Tesla’s “shiny new object” status. As a result, these automakers have surpassed Tesla in this year’s reputation rankings, with Ford at number 32, Honda at 13, and Toyota landing a coveted spot at number 6.

But as Axios and the 16,000 respondents fail to realize, Tesla is more than the king of EVs. Solar continues to grow in popularity, and Tesla is a major player in that space, and let’s not forget Optimus. The company has fundamentally shifted the paradigm of what’s possible in personal transportation. Tesla’s innovative spirit remains its core strength, evidenced by its high scores in trajectory and vision.

Tesla’s reputation has seen a hiccup in this year’s Axios Harris Poll. While the Twitter takeover and concerns over Musk’s dual CEO role have contributed to this decline, the competition from traditional automakers embracing EV technology should not be overlooked. As the industry evolves, Tesla must strategize to maintain its influential role and polish its public image to climb back up in future reputation rankings.

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By Kevin Armstrong

New photos reveal several aspects of the Cybertruck's interior

Tesla’s revolutionary Cybertruck, now just months away from the kick-off of its production, has been the subject of much speculation and anticipation. The curtain over its interior features is finally lifting thanks to recent prototype sightings, one of which was notably displayed at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting earlier this month.

Unorthodox Design: The Cybertruck Steering Wheel

The newly-leaked photos provide a fascinating driver’s perspective view, including an up-close examination of the Cybertruck’s steering wheel. A fusion of designs from Tesla’s Model S and Model X, the Cybertruck steering wheel challenges conventional design norms. The design amalgamates the yoke and round wheel styles, excluding stalls but featuring touch-sensitive buttons. It’s a unique steering wheel, echoing the groundbreaking ethos of Tesla.

Minimalist Magic: The Cybertruck Dashboard and Center Console

The images reveal the expansive depth of Cybertruck’s dashboard, which aligns with the geometric cabin design. A unique texture covers the dashboard, potentially cloth or Alcantara, further accentuating its minimalist allure. However, the anticipated transformation of the center console into an additional seating arrangement may no longer be a feature. We already know about its expected, 18.5″ display.

Questions abound regarding the apparent absence of a sixth seat. This minimalistic design approach, characterized by straight lines and manual sliders, seems to create an expansive and futuristic cabin environment. Still, the lack of the sixth seat could be a point of contention for some potential owners.

New photos reveal several aspects of the Cybertruck's interior

From Prototype to Production: The Evolution of Cybertruck’s Design

With production slated to begin later this year at Giga Texas, many are speculating whether this is the final Cybertruck prototype or if Tesla is saving the final design reveal for its delivery event. Notably, the prototype boasts an improved yoke steering wheel, which seems to amalgamate a traditional round design with the unique yoke style, perhaps in response to mixed reviews and the popularity of the round steering wheel retrofit for the Model S and Model X.

From a cool Cybertruck-themed seat control panel to a tonneau cover reminiscent sliding console cover, Tesla appears to have paid meticulous attention to the minute details in the Cybertruck’s interior. The cover will play a significant role in Tesla’s next step in development – mounting points.

Cybertruck remains a bold proposition, challenging established norms of vehicle design. From its origami-like exterior to its innovative interior, it represents a radical reimagining of what a pickup truck can be. Despite its divisive features, Tesla’s Cybertruck continues to generate massive anticipation, proving that society is ready to embrace the new and different when it comes to automobile design.

By Kevin Armstrong

Tesla has introduced hardware 4.0 for the Model Y

Without fanfare, Tesla has introduced their most refined self-driving computer, Hardware 4.0 (HW4), into the Model Y lineup. It’s a surprising move, as it was believed HW4 would roll out with the Model Y redesign. This strategic decision, executed in Tesla’s unique, understated style, follows the quiet integration of HW4 into the luxury Model S and Model X models earlier this year.

This shift came to light thanks to one of our sources, who has provided accurate information in the past. Tesla owner Zack (@BLKMDL3) has now identified multiple Model Y units equipped with fresh hardware at his local delivery center. The distinctive upgraded side repeater and forward-facing cameras indicate HW4 were observed in both Long Range and Performance variants of the Model Y.

Transitioning to the New Standard

Notwithstanding these exciting sightings, numerous Model Ys with the previous hardware was still found at the delivery site. As is customary with Tesla’s approach to hardware rollouts, the full switch to HW4 across all Model Ys will take some time as Tesla factories incorporate these changes.

Source code information connected to a recently manufactured Model Y also confirmed the presence of HW4, designated as “AP HW4”. Interestingly, this phased implementation might lead to disparities among Model Y units depending on their manufacturing origin. For instance, those made in China, where no HW4 incorporation has been reported yet, might cause Canadian customers to miss out on the HW4 upgrade.

HW4: Paving the Way for Enhanced Autonomy

Tesla’s HW4 represents the company’s commitment to refine its vision-based self-driving system further, shifting from the previous reliance on a combination of vision and radar sensors. It plays a pivotal role in Tesla’s bold objective to master Full Self-Driving (FSD) by year-end.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that certain functionalities were not instantly available during the early stages of HW4 deployment. This factor likely played a role in Tesla’s decision to delay its introduction of the Model Y. As Tesla continues perfecting HW4, further enhancements are anticipated, including improved handling of complicated maneuvers, such as unprotected turns.

Tesla has introduced hardware 4.0 for the Model Y

The Hardware Evolution: Comparing HW4 and HW3

Insightful images shared by the Tesla community have provided a comparative look between HW4 and its predecessor, Hardware 3.0 (HW3). Of note, the side repeater cameras on the Model Y with HW4 have noticeably larger lens housings and a wider field of view. This departs from early anticipations, which projected HW4 would introduce additional cameras. Instead, the updated hardware seems to enhance the existing camera system.

What Lies Ahead

The introduction of HW4 into the Model Y marks a remarkable stride in Tesla’s commitment to perfecting Full Self-Driving technology. As Tesla continues to develop and refine HW4, it’s exciting to envision the transformative potential this holds for the automotive landscape.

While Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s ambitious vision of a Robotaxi fleet may still be some way off, the integration of HW4 in the Model Y undeniably represents a key milestone in that journey. As this revolutionary technology evolves, the world eagerly awaits the exciting advancements it promises to bring to the autonomous driving experience.

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