In the dynamic world of automotive innovation, Ferrari has recently patented a concept that could revolutionize car steering systems. This development emerges as Tesla reconsiders its steering yoke design and Lexus progresses with its own variant.
The patent, filed on May 8 and disclosed by the US Patent and Trademark Office on November 16, outlines a method for maneuvering a car using dual joysticks. Each joystick would be positioned adjacent to the driver’s seat, enabling the driver to manipulate the vehicle’s turning direction and yaw angle, which is the degree of sideways movement. Additionally, acceleration and braking could either be managed through conventional foot pedals or integrated buttons and triggers on the joysticks, as proposed by Ferrari.
While Ferrari’s description of the system’s benefits remains somewhat ambiguous, the company underscores its technical viability, drawing parallels to joystick-operated forklifts. However, Ferrari does not delve into past experiments with joystick steering, such as Saab’s prototype car developed for a European safety initiative, which was ultimately abandoned due to its complexity.
Contrasting with recent trends towards steering yokes, exemplified by Tesla’s implementation in the Model S and X and Lexus’s new steer-by-wire system, Ferrari critiques the yoke’s functionality as more aesthetic than practical. Yokes, common in aircraft, control the pitch or the angle of the nose relative to the ground, a function not applicable to cars.
The potential production of Ferrari’s joystick control system remains uncertain. Meanwhile, Lexus forges ahead with its steering yoke, soon to be featured in the Lexus RZ 450e electric crossover, although it is not yet available in the U.S. market.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ferrari Joystick Patent
What is Ferrari’s recently patented vehicle control system?
Ferrari has patented a novel vehicle control system that utilizes two joysticks, placed on either side of the driver’s seat, for steering the car. This system allows control of the vehicle’s direction and yaw angle, with options for acceleration and braking either through traditional pedals or via buttons and triggers on the joysticks.
How does Ferrari’s joystick system differ from Tesla and Lexus’s steering designs?
Unlike Tesla and Lexus, who are focusing on yoke-style steering systems, Ferrari’s joystick approach offers a radically different method of vehicle control. The joysticks are designed to control the vehicle’s direction and yaw angle, differing from the more conventional steering wheel or yoke systems.
What are the potential advantages of Ferrari’s joystick-controlled vehicle?
Ferrari’s joystick-controlled system could provide a more intuitive and compact steering mechanism, potentially offering enhanced maneuverability and a novel driving experience. However, Ferrari has not explicitly detailed all the advantages of this system.
Has any other automaker attempted joystick control in vehicles?
Yes, Saab previously experimented with a joystick-controlled vehicle as part of a European car safety program. However, this initiative was short-lived due to the complexity and difficulty of use associated with the joystick control system.
Is Ferrari’s joystick control system currently in production?
As of now, Ferrari’s joystick control system is in the patent stage and there is no confirmation on whether it will enter production. The concept is still under development and may undergo further refinements before potentially being introduced to the market.
More about Ferrari Joystick Patent
- Ferrari’s Joystick Steering Patent
- Comparison of Steering Systems: Ferrari, Tesla, Lexus
- History of Joystick Steering in Cars
- Ferrari’s Future in Automotive Innovation