Ford patent reinvents the steering wheel


Ford is preparing to introduce a fully-autonomous vehicle in 2021 that doesn’t even have a steering wheel, but that does not mean it’s stopped believing about the traditional man-machine interface.

Ford’s brand-new GT supercar pushes things to the next level by moving most of the vehicle’s controls— consisting of the wipers and turn signals– onto the front of the wheel, where they’re run by a slew of buttons, toggles and knobs.

As with a great deal of efficiency vehicles, there are also paddles behind the wheel that you can use to change gears, but you still need to use a knob on the center console to choose Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive.

That will not be the case if a patent Ford has actually made an application for becomes reality. Uncovered by Motor 1, the filing explains an automated transmission gear shift that utilizes steering wheel-mounted paddles to handle the PRND thing.

The left one changes between Park, Reverse and Neutral, while the primary paddle is everything about Drive. A number of operating cycles are described, including one that changes through Park and Reverse then stops at Neutral until you put it into Drive.

Still another paddle enables an infinite PRN loop, presuming your foot is on the brake. Strike the left paddle while you’re moving and it shifts directly into Neutral — simply the important things for a showboaty engine rev.

The whole point of this is to open up space on the center console, which Lincoln did by employing a pushbutton transmission control on the dashboard. Ford isn’t really the very first to attempt to reimagine the performance of guiding wheel paddles. Chevy Corvettes with manual transmissions utilize them to engage a rev matching function for their seven-speed stick, while pulling on one in the Chevy Volt or Bolt electrical automobiles activates a regenerative braking system that uses their electric motors, rather of the brakes, to slow them down.

For an adrenaline rush, take a virtual ride on the 2017 Ford GT.


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