Elon’s glass breakage explanation is just as broken

Elon’s glass breakage explanation is just as broken

So Elon said that they should have thrown the steel ball at the glass first, then hit the door with the sledge hammer. Citing that in doing the reverse, the pounding of the door with the sledgehammer cracked the glass slightly and that is what caused it to shatter. Just one small problem with that explanation, while I guess that is plausible for the driver’s door, what about the repeated breakage of the rear passenger window. Fran didn’t hit the rear door. Not even come close to it. I think Elon should have left it off as a gaffe and that is will be fixed before production starts.

andy.connor.e | 30 november 2019

I think it matters so little that people keep focusing on the fact that the glass broke, and not the fact that Tesla is about to offer a vehicle whos windows can stop a steel ball from entering the cabin. All this is, is free publicity, so i endorse this.

jordanrichard | 30 november 2019

Oh, I agree completely. Many people forget that “armored glass” isn’t designed to not brake, but to not come part, creating a hole, when an object hits it. The issue here is that Elon said the glass was unbreakable to most things.

bp | 30 november 2019

If armor glass can prevent damage from typical road debris (small objects hitting the glass while the vehicle is in motion), that's what is most important.

When hit by a large object, you don't want the glass to shatter and spread shards everywhere.

And, in an emergency, you want to be able to break through the glass by kicking out the windows from the inside or for emergency responders to pull passengers from the vehicle.

A more interesting test might have been throwing much small objects, representing typical driving damage.

jordanrichard | 30 november 2019

Bp, you make a good point about an emergency. Just how are first responders supposed to easily get into the trucks if needed. The focus on making a truck like a vault has its unintended consequences. | 30 november 2019

@jordanrichard - It's possible in the pre-tests, they also sledgehammered the rear door. It's also not clear they actually tested the rear window in advance, so perhaps it already had a fault. Just guesses, but perhaps plausible.

Hal Fisher | 30 november 2019

The coverup is what scares me. If there was a pretest, that would have pre-stress the window, not the sledgehammer hitting below the window. I think the video of the pre-test was made after the fact. I also suspect that steel ball bouncing off the window was not even a solid steel ball. It bounced way to far for as heavy as it would be for that slow of a pitch. And way would he ask if musk was sure about trying it. Also, in the video there is a suction cup still on the passenger window, that’s evidence the window was just replaced.

Hal Fisher | 30 november 2019

Oh, and the vacuum cleaner and glass pieces on the ground. No, this throw was after they replaced it.

jordanrichard | 30 november 2019

Hal, I was there for the unveiling. That ball whether it was actually solid or not, was extremely heavy because we all heard it hit the stage. We heard it hit the glass when they did the ball drop demonstration first. That ball drop happened maybe 20 feet from me and there was very little bounce to it. So that ball was very heavy. They used that same ball to hit the driver’s window. There was not David Copperfield effects to this. They picked up that very ball and walked it over to be used on the truck.

Your theory of it being a “cover up” because they perhaps did the pre-test afterwards, doesn’t change the fact that in that video, the ball bounces off the glass without damaging it. | 30 november 2019

@Hal - you could be right, but lots of conjecture. What coverup - it happened live. How do you know the construction of the steel ball? I also didn't see any glass pieces on the ground but a few larger reflective items. Might be glass or could easily be something else - the resolution was too low to make out what they were. If glass, I'd expect a lot more items on the floor. Most shops have a vacuum cleaner and if used, why do you see glass on the floor. Your own theories seem to counter each other. Sorry, but really doubt these conspiracy theories.

jordanrichard | 30 november 2019

From the real truck and the window breakage, there was indeed bits of glass on the stage. Remarkably, they were very, very small pieces. Almost looking like diamonds/sparkling sand.

PrescottRichard | 30 november 2019

I’ve seen a few pics of scary things coming through windshields, like lumber. Some have impaled the driver, so just missed. To me the windshield is where you need this the most.

I guess a real work truck could be prone to things going through the side windows, and this demo showed that ain’t gonna happen. Even if the window broke, the person inside would be protected. Not sure how ‘bulletproof’ it needs to be beyond this, and YEAH, what about EMS trying to save someone inside? You might have to start sawing the thing open.

Tesla2018 | 30 november 2019

Mercedes makes a 2 door coupe with gull wing doors that has an explosive charge that will blow off the door hinges in the event of a rollover. Tesla could make something that blows out the window lift lever and makes the frame fall into the door in the event the airbags deploy. | 30 november 2019

@Tesla2018 - I think I'd want to keep the window closed during an accident. Could be lots of flying debris that would hit the window, and if blown out, would hit the occupants instead.

It's still a good question as to how fire and rescue would get into the cabin. I suspect they have ways of getting in. Clearly, the glass can be broken with enough force.

Tesla2018 | 30 november 2019

Teslatap- The side impact airbags could deploy and fill up the void where the window was. Sort of like a giant pillow being jammed in the window. It would inflate in an accident and deflate after sensing no movement of the car and could be easily moved after deflation to get to the occupants.

Hal Fisher | 30 november 2019

Im NOT talking about what happened on stage, I don’t know where people came up with that??? No, that was a solid ball. But Why do the whole show if you’re just going to throw it at the window anyway? So what did I point out that countered another?????? Yeah, all shops have vacuums. Why was the glass suction handle on the back passenger glass. I guess that’s always there for no reason too?

andy.connor.e | 30 november 2019

No reason

Mark K | 1 december 2019

Maybe consider Hanlon’s razor -

“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

It’s unfathomable how much specious ill intent is ascribed to Elon.

Look at the big picture here -

How many auto executives ever throw steel balls at their shiny new vehicles?

No one else on planet earth is even trying to achieve what he’s already doing.

When you aim for the stars, sometimes you first reach the moon.

Zealous repeated testing compromised the window.

They‘re friggin proud of how good it is, and welcome public scrutiny like no other automaker.

Hey kids, don’t tug on Superman’s cape. He’s busy fixing the world.

Btw - the moon is pretty damn good.

2 ‘rovers’ on order.

hcwhy | 1 december 2019

Being able to get into the vehicle can also be important if a pet or a person is in a locked vehicle unresponsive. This is less likely in a Tesla, with the ability to keep the hvac on in a locked, vacated truck/car, but the unexpected always happens.