Check Out This Cybertruck Easter Egg in the Tesla Bot Video From the 2023 Shareholder Day

Tesla Cybertruck prototype sporting a round steering wheel 6 photos
Photo: Tesla | Edited
Tesla Bot video shows Cybertruck's round steering wheelTesla Bot video shows Cybertruck's round steering wheelTesla Bot video shows Cybertruck's round steering wheelThe Cybertruck shows a squarish steering wheelPOV picture from inside the Tesla Cybertruck
We're two weeks away from the 2023 Shareholder Day, but we're not yet done being surprised by the revelations of that day. Revisiting the Tesla Bot video reveals that one of the Cybertruck prototypes was fitted with a round steering wheel.
After reinventing the electric vehicle, Tesla went on reinventing the wheel, literally. Still, this proved much more controversial than its Full Self-Driving software. The world was irreconcilably divided when the Tesla Model S refresh launched in 2021 with a yoke instead of the steering wheel. On the one hand, some swore it was the greatest feature of a road vehicle besides the wheels and praised Tesla for its bold decision. The cool-headed crowd pointed to the yoke's shortcomings, especially when you need to rotate it more than 180 degrees while maneuvering the car.

Of course, the yoke looks cool, but, like many other cool stuff, it can be a pain to use in real life. Even if most US roads are straight, there are countless occasions when you need to fully rotate the steering wheel, and parking is just one of them. Suffices to say that the first people who tried the yoke expressed mixed feelings. It was the first crack in Tesla's air-tight follower base, which forced the EV maker to make necessary changes.

It's not like Tesla couldn't design proper steering for the Model S and Model X. With the bZ4X, Toyota showed how to do it right thanks to adaptive steering. This limits the yoke steering angle to 90 degrees or so in each direction but increases the wheel angle exponentially. This way, you don't have to fully rotate the yoke for tight turns but still have a similar behavior as before around the center line.

We can only assume that Tesla was overly confident in its ability to deliver the Full Self-Driving that it considered a steering wheel an afterthought. When this didn't pan out and following backlash from customers, Tesla finally conceded and offered a round steering wheel retrofit for the Model S and Model X. How badly people needed such an option was quickly proved, as the retrofit kit sold out in a matter of days. Soon, Tesla offered the round steering wheel as the default option when ordering a Model S/X and ended by asking $250 for the yoke option.

This proves that the yoke was far from popular, despite the Tesla fans' noisy claims. It costs Tesla to keep the yokes in stock, so it's fair to ask for compensation. We wouldn't be surprised to see the option disappearing altogether from the menu. After all, Tesla didn't try to force the yoke on other models. The Cybertruck, whose development started about the same time as the Model S/X refresh, was first advertised with a yoke, and it's still pictured that way on Tesla's website. However, all the recent prototypes feature a squarish steering wheel instead of a yoke.

That might not even make it into production, though, if the Tesla Bot video published during the 2023 Shareholder Meeting is any indication. If you recall the video, the gang of robots was moving in front of several Cybertruck prototypes. Looking closely toward the end of the video below, you'll see the Cybertruck in the background is fitted with a round steering wheel. This might indicate that the production version of the truck still hides plenty of surprises, such as this one. Hopefully, Tesla will listen to its customers and make the right choices.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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