Electrical Engineering/Power Steering functions.

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Power steering
Power steering  
QUESTION: Dear Prof Cleggsan

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_steering

Is it also possible to integrate the Brake, Accelerator Functions available to the Driver available on the Steering wheel to the Driver through re-engineering process ?.

If it is possible, then do you feel this could be advantageous to the current acceleration, braking mechanism available to the driver near the feet ?.

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Yes, there are, already, vehicles in the marketplace as well as modification kits for use by handicapped persons who do not have use of their feet or legs.  These vehicles can be made to accommodate those with various kinds of physical restrictions.  Such mods add cost and compromise of universality for other drivers, of course.

But, as to mass production of automobiles for general society use I think would be an uphill market strategy.  The driver training and licensing procedures operated by governments around the world would need adjusting, etc.  Users would be subject to frequent accidents until the public became adjusted to these new operational controls.

I see no advantage in the control configuration you are proposing outside of use by those drivers advantaged by physical infirmities.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Prof Cleggsan

Thank you.

If it is possible to design Brake, Accelerator Functions within steering vehicle, it will be also applicable to implement Brake, Accelerator Functions for Power Steering in Heavy vehicles viz Bus, Truck, Tempos, Lorries etc apart from Medium Class vehicles Cars, Jeeps, Tractors etc ?.


Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Yes, of course it is possible.  Accelerator function is easy and not too expensive to do on gas/diesel or electric engine powered systems.  Brake function is more difficult and can be very expensive to add but depends on level of automation onboard the vehicle.

For example, there are many new model vehicles which have automatic braking systems which will stop the vehicle independent of driver attention; handled by sensing system which can tell when getting too close to object ahead or or in way of course.  If such system were already installed in vehicle than it would not be difficult to add the manual override function to the steering wheel (if, indeed, a steering wheel is even used in the vehicle).

Some commercial vehicles do not use steering wheel in the classical sense but use paddles or foot peddles to operate the steering mechanisms.

Hope this helps your thinking.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Rubber coating
Rubber coating  
QUESTION: Dear Prof Cleggsan

Thank you.

Maybe the Soft keys controls made of rubber or any other alternative material identifying the two functions for applying Brake and Acceleration on the steering wheel is painted with Red and Green color respectively ?.

Also Brake and Accelerate Text written on the soft keys controls can help for identifying the two functions ?.

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
The colored buttons are too easily misused in panic or emergency situations and would compromise safety in my opinion.  Further, they do not have three degrees of freedom to handle the hard braking and rapid acceleration that may be required under adverse situations.

Safety is a concern, also. If the controls are too close together on the steering wheel it would be easy for the operator to push the wrong button in emergency situations.

Conclusion: I am not positive about the use of colored buttons to control movement of a vehicle.  

Electrical Engineering

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cleggsan

Expertise

All technical areas of Electronics Engineering.

Experience

BSEE, MBA, Design, R&D, University Research.
Senior Life Member of IEEE. Life Fellow of AES.

Organizations
IEEE, Consumer Electronics Society, Audio Engineering Society.
Broad teaching experience; work experience mostly in consumer electronics and conversion from analog to digital technologies. Pioneer in digital audio at all levels.

Education/Credentials
BSEE (Equiv) BYU BSEE University of North Dakota MSBA (MBA) Illinois State University Graduate Studies in Computer Science - Bradley University Graduate Studies - Ohio University Graduate Studies - University of Missouri Kansas City DeVry Tech - Electronics

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