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The current layout of vehicle controls leaves much to be desired. It has evolved rather than being designed.
Adaptations exist for steering a car with a foot or feet. These are designed primarily for those with disabilities.
BorgCo engineers are developing a more rational layout for general use.
is controlled by a pair of linked foot pedals. Push with the right foot, turn to the right, and vice-versa, just like a light aircraft. The system is die-by-wire, with the pedals linked to potentiometers and the steering shaft being rotated by a geared stepper motor with position feedback from an optical rotary encoder. There is a visual indication of steering position. As vehicle speed increases, so the sensetivity of the pedals is automatically decreased.
The steering rack and power assist are standard units.
Using an automatic transmission, acceleration and braking are combined in a single side lever; push forward to go faster, pull back to brake. A cruise control is incorporated into the top of the lever.
This leaves one hand free to operate all other controls, or any other activity the driver wishes to perform.
In an accident, there is no steering wheel for the driver to impact.
In the right road and traffic conditions and with the cruise control operating, the driver would have both hands free for the greater part of the time.
The design is particularly well-suited to PHEV or all-electric drivetrain vehicles.
||//Push with the right foot, turn to the right, and vice-versa, just like a light aircraft.//
||What about push off the left, go right, like handlebars, or rollerblades, or walking ?
||I'm with [FlyingToaster]; push with left foot to go right. Plane rudder pedals are backwards.
Other than that, I've been thinking along the same lines myself, for the electric vehicle I'm designing (very slowly because life gets in the way...).
Except I prefer 'throttle position correlates to vehicle speed', rather than vehicle acceleration as you have. Allows faster changes to input.
||// What about push off the left, go right, //
||That would make it confusing for pilots, and it makes no difference to non-pilots as they are learning a new technique anyway.
||I'd prefer steering to be done by sensing
the extent to which the driver is leaning to
the left or to the right in their seat. This
could be done by
buttock-pressure-sensors in the seat.
||You see, this is one of the primary initial reasons I
never learned to drive a car. The UI is ridiculous,
incorrect, and more than that, isnt the way I would
have done it.
||At the time I was being coerced to learn to drive I
was working with aeroplanes and knew a lot more
about how those things are controlled (though never
actually felt the compulsion to learn to fly one,
which would have been made incredibly possible for
me at that time one of those decisions I now
||I still havent much of an idea what all the knobs,
levers and dials do in a car (and will not be
interested in knowing). However, theres no point in
redesigning a physical UI for driving the things now
all you need is voice control, surely?
||Ah, the special "assisted suicide" control system
Mitsubishi will be first to market with that. Supplied with the car
is an instruction book, a katana, a flask of sake, and a white cloth
the Rising Sun symbol on it.
||It has a unique navigational system - just shout "BANZAI !"l as
loudly as you can, and the car steers at full speed towards the
nearest Allied aircraft carrier.
||Voice control would limit the subject matter of
radio-based dramas one might be able to listen to in the
car without crashing.
||Ah, no, itd be using Android Car, and youd have to
sign in first, and itd get used to your voice alone. On
the other hand, Android TV you have to sign in first,
but then anyone can use the voice command remote,
anyone can then watch what they like on youtube,
etc. Then I find a load of irrelevant stuff on my
youtube history that itll use to recommend further
crap to me. Android TV was designed on the
assumption that watching television is an entirely
solitary experience, experienced by people with no
friends, no family and no visitors. I suppose theyll
transfer this approach to cars, whereby anyone can
step into it and take the car to anywhere for any
reason, and then you find your phone or computer
will recommend all sorts of irrelevant journeys and
reasons to go places.
||I'm really surprised no one has suggested a
Theremin-style control interface, where you wave your
hands around in an electric field to command the car to
go and stop, and turn left and right.
||Musical score, or it didnt happen.
||[Ian Tindale], I suspect you're thinking of the time a BEE got in. The wasp was an entirely different matter...
||So, would it be wrong to let your legs cross over
when making a tight turn?
||Cars will be driving themselves around soon, with
few owners but many subscribers. No drivers