Elon Musk raised eyebrows and probably his own employees’ blood pressure last week when he tweeted that the long-delayed Tesla Cybertruck could “briefly function as a boat.” Many ignored it as yet another wild claim or odd joke from a CEO known for them. It appears his intention was to convey that the thing is watertight. Or maybe Musk’s statement was meant to distract from Cybertruck delays or shore up interest in the vehicle, which remains in development going on three years since its reveal.
But one public agency took the opportunity to remind everyone that water is wet and not to be trifled with. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources tweeted a response to Musk’s tweet, warning that briefly floating does not a boat make.
— Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (@waDNR) September 29, 2022
Musk’s claim of a seafaring Cybertruck was just one of dozens of similar tweets over the years, such as the “SpaceX Package” for the Tesla Roadster that could allegedly enable a 1.1-second 0-60 mph time, or the time he suggested we nuke Mars. Other tweets have landed Tesla in hot water as regulatory agencies try to come to grips with the company’s forward-looking tech and the CEO’s freewheeling claims. The automaker is under investigation by NHTSA over whether its “Full Self Driving” and Autopilot terms are deceptive and lead to owners’ irresponsible behavior behind the wheel.
Just as many Tesla owners believe their cars drive themselves, Washington DNR’s response is a reminder that many people blindly follow without much critical thinking. Float your Cybertruck? That was a joke, whether intentional or not.