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fil smyth
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---- the mind races ----
---- the mind races ----

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[ W-15, "NTX", FTX, and "NKoT" ]

The 4th image is a sketch from a series I was posting in several different collexxions before creating this one, in response to a quote from Elon talking about a "new kind of truck" (NKoT). I was immediately reminded of the form I have since come to refer to as the "Command Cab", something I sketched once a couple of years ago and promptly set aside. The flurry of Tesla truck sketches came about 18 months later... Then Workhorse revealed some preliminary images of the W-15, causing me to attempt to adjust the concept to new and unfamiliar design language.

Eventually I said fuck it and drew -- only once -- a fanciful Australian-style pickup with the swiveling driver's seat up front and center-mounted: FTX (Future Truck, eXperimental).

Now that Workhorse has been trotting their prototype around, the inadequacy of its cab has been confirmed. Unless you pick the shortest person in your crew to drive, you're not going to comfortably fit 5 people in there. So a couple of weeks ago I took another stab at "NTX" (N for New), trying to figure out how a true 4-seat cab could fit in mostly the same space as their supposed 5-seat cab, with minimal modifications. I'm less than pleased with this result.

The Command Cab idea springs from not just electric drive (and the ability to use space previously occupied by an internal combustion engine and transmission) but also the ever-nearing eventuality of autonomous operation. You put the driver in the middle, up front, in a captain's chair that can swivel around to face the rear seat. This would allow the crew (or family, or group of friends) to more naturally converse on the way to their destination --- while the truck drives itself. Upon arrival, the driver can swivel back around to take over, navigating where the self-driving system may suddenly prove incapable.

But the W-15, despite its (450 horsepower) electric drive, stainless steel frame and composite body, is still very much a conventional American-style pickup. Not easily adapted to a Command Cab configuration. Such a cab deserves a full redesign, at least from the bed forward...

So what I've been thinking is that what this truck needs instead is a little repackaging. Move the windshield forward, raise the roof to the height of the integral light bar (eliminating it, and in the process improving aerodamnnamics in spite of increased roof height). You could keep the front doors at the same length, but moving them forward allows for a larger rear door opening. Occupants would sit a little more upright, but there would be more rear legroom.

And it wouldn't look that much different.
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5/28/17
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[ Towel Day, every day ]


Totally missed Towel Day yesterday. It's fine, 'cause I always know where mine is.

{ thanks for the belated reminder +Chris Fink }
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