Tesla Tested ‘Crab Walk’ Tech For The Cybertruck, But Found It Useless

By automotive-mag.com 3 Min Read

Tesla considered giving its Cybertruck pickup diagonal-driving capability similar to what you’d find in the GMC Hummer EV but scrapped the idea after finding the feature useless in the real world, Tesla engineer Wes Morrill said in a post on X

“Does anyone know when this feature is practically useful? Genuinely curious,” Morrill said in a reply to a GMC promotional video showing off its “Crab Walk” tech. “We played with this in development but no matter what we tried it was a clunky/awkward experience with no real use case.”  

Both the Hummer and Cybertruck offer rear-wheel steering, which mainly functions to make a large vehicle more maneuverable in tight spaces. That’s what happens when the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the fronts, effectively shrinking a vehicle’s turning radius. But in the Hummer, switching on Crab Walk tells the rear wheels to pivot in the same direction as the front wheels. That allows the truck to zig-zag, all while facing forward. 

 

The result is pretty captivating to watch, mainly since we aren’t used to seeing cars skate side to side. But, having tried Crab Walk in real life in the Hummer EV pickup, I’ve got to agree with Morrill here. It looks cool, but it’s mostly a gimmick. 

“If the wheels could turn 90 (degrees) and you could actually slide sideways it would be amazing, but 10 deg is not enough to be useful in parallel parking and it’s very unintuitive to control,” he said, adding that he didn’t intend to “mock GM here.”

It’s worth noting that a division of Hyundai is working on wheel technology that lets a vehicle scoot sideways into parking spots. At the same time, that application may be more for autonomous delivery vehicles than passenger ones. 

Still, the emphasis on utility comes off more than a little ironic here. Driving like a crab is silly, I’ll grant Tesla that. But isn’t the Cybertruck itself pretty silly too? The dystopian, stainless-steel truck clearly isn’t all about making perfect sense. I mean, who actually needs their truck to be bulletproof?

What do you all think? Should Tesla have followed through with its own version of Crab Walk? Let us know in the comments.

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