An artificial-intelligence and software company is making camper attachments for Tesla Cybertrucks.
Stream It has already had $80 million in preorders for its $50,000 CyberLandr, its CEO told Insider.
See inside the CyberLandr, which will be produced and delivered in tandem with the Cybertruck.
Chatter about Tesla's upcoming Cybertruck has subsided since its unveiling in late 2019, but that's not stopping designers from imagining its potential uses.
This includes Lance King, the CEO of Stream It, a software and artificial-intelligence company that's now pivoting to create attachments that can turn Cybertrucks into a pop-up tiny homes on wheels.
Yes, you read that right. A tech company is now making pickup-truck campers, or "CyberLandrs."
The production of Tesla's infamous Cybertruck might have been pushed back from 2021 to 2022, but that's not stopping Stream It from "ramping everything up," King told Insider.
King first thought of the idea when he was preordering a Cybertruck and realized no existing RV or camper would be compatible with the futuristic truck's body.
The RV industry "hasn't innovated in 50 years," King said. "They're not going to get a stroke of genius and create a new RV. And I thought, 'Who could do it?'"
King says the answer is his Stream It team.
"The only company I can think of that could do that is my company," King said. "We've got the software developers; we've got the AI; and we're really creative. We wanted it to be a Tesla-like experience even when you were in a RV."
According to King, a "true Tesla level RV" needs strong software that's capable of artificial intelligence and yearly updates, similar to Tesla's vehicles.
So toward the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the face of potential layoffs, King decided to put his team to work designing the CyberLandr.
Before this project, the company had never worked in the RV industry, though many team members enjoy overlanding, camping, and RVing.
King says this inexperience with RVs is actually a "massive strength."
"Tesla would never have been able to reinvent the car had they been in the car business," King said. "Just being in that changes your field of vision. We think it was necessary to not be in the RV industry to create a truly new and unique product."
So far, the investment is paying off.
The camper was an instant success upon its unveiling in early April, according to the company.
To prove potential market success, the company's goal was to have 100 to 200 interested customers within the first month. Instead, it saw 1,000 buyers, it said.
According to King, the Cyber:andr team has already hit more than $80 million in preorders, and it's still recording daily sales, which Insider confirmed.
It's even received a one-word stamp of approval from Elon Musk, who called a video of the CyberLandr "cool" in early July.
The camper's popularity should come as no surprise.
The Cyber:andr combines two growing trends that have recently flooded the automobile industry: camper vans and electric pickup trucks.
Now let's take a closer look at the tiny home on wheels. The roughly $50,000 Cyber:andr has a retractable staircase that leads up to the interior's living room, bedroom, and bathroom.
The entire unit can tuck away into the Cybetruck's bed when it's not in use. Think of it as a pop-top camper.
Let's start in the kitchen, which has all the basic necessities with a tech-forward twist, like a voice-controlled smart faucet, a refrigerator, a porcelain countertop with a hidden cooktop, and a sink with a cutting board and drying rack.
The living room is right next to the kitchen and comes with removable seats, voice- or phone-activated lights and temperature control, and a 32-inch smart television equipped with streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV+.
This space can also be used as an office: The television can double as a second monitor; the pivoting tables can be used as desks; and the CyberLandr's Starlink satellite dish can provide internet connection.
The living room also transforms into a bedroom. All you have to do is unfold the seats into a roughly queen-sized bed.
There's also space under the bed to sleep an additional adult or two children.
Other amenities inside the tiny home on wheels include heated floors, an onboard bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet, and smart glass that can dim for more privacy.
To power all of this, the CyberLandr will use the truck's battery and its own 500-watt solar panels.
Stream It predicts the 1,200-pound camper will inevitably cut the truck's range by 5%.
When it's fully deployed, the truck and its tiny home will likely stand at just under 11 feet tall, depending on the final height of the Cybertruck.
Designing a camper based on a vehicle that doesn't exist yet has its obvious challenges, but King believes the Cybertruck's design won't change too much from the original unveil.
And the team has already created renderings of the camper with exact measurements, allowing the designers to easily change the camper's dimensions according to the final Cybertruck design.
The campers will eventually be produced near the Cybertruck's manufacturing site in Texas. This proximity will allow the CyberLandr team to install the campers onto the Cybertrucks for its customers.
In the short term, the company will be leasing a manufacturing facility just outside of Austin, Texas. But looking ahead, Stream It plans to create its own facility in the city.
Despite this prep work, King is "really nervous" about the first customers who ordered a CyberLandr.
The product is wholly dependent on the final Cybertruck specifications, so if Tesla doesn't share them before the Cybertrucks are shipped out, the team will have to take their own measurements and tweak the designs. This means the first few customers might not have their CyberLandrs by the time their Cybertrucks are ready.
"We're ramping up everything to make sure we can respond very quickly to those changes and get them out as soon as possible afterwards," King said.
Read the original article on Business Insider