“Ten and two.” If you took a driver’s education class, there’s a good chance you had that phrase drilled into your brain by an instructor advising you two think of the steering wheel as the face of a clock, always keeping both hands on the wheel — one at 10 o’clock and the other at 2 o’clock.
But for people with zero or reduced mobility in any of their upper or lower limbs, keeping both hands on the steering wheel and feet ready at the pedals can present some difficult challenges.
While cars car easily be modified to accommodate drivers of all shapes, sizes and mobility levels, a team of Spanish researchers recently created a single device that lets a driver steer, accelerate, change gears and brake with just one hand.
Developed by Asociación RUVID, a consortium of five Spanish research institutes and companies, the prototype is completely electronic. Having no mechanics involved helps those who may have reduced strength in the device-operating hand. As well, motors in the device are used to simulate the haptic feedback and sensations of a traditional, mechanical steering wheel.
“When designing a new system [we] wanted to eliminate our concept of the mechanical technology and implement technology based on electronics, which offers more versatile solutions,” said team leader José Solaz in an RUVID news release.
The prototype was recently presented during the 13th EAEC European Automotive Congress in Valencia, Spain.
Credit: FICOSA International S.A.