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Power steering
Power steering  
QUESTION: Dear ZZ

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: Probably a bad idea due to the millions of vehicles around the world now using the conventional configuration of controls.  It would be a long and expensive battle to convert drivers over to a new driving habit.  Don't you think?

For the physically handicapped there are vehicles and adapter kits available already.  Special training is necessary for these drivers to learn the high mounted controls.

And, you may read in the newspapers of the push by technology companies to promote their driverless vehicles.  Maybe this is a better study for you to focus on.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_driverless_car

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/trends-innovations/driverless-car.h

Please refer to the above references.

Hope this helps.



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

QUESTION: Dear ZZ

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, such functions can be built into alternate forms of operating mechanisms.  Some commercial vehicle now do not use a steering wheel but paddles that are operated by hands or knees or feet when driver must have hands free for other tasks.

Highway driven vehicle do need a steering wheel, of course.

How do you envision placing the controls into or on the steering wheel? That is a ponderous problem because the manufacturers are always struggling with what controls are best for mounting on steering wheel.  Already there are so many functions being implemented (radio, telephone, audio entertainment, cruise control, etc.) that manufacturers are struggling with this problem.

Also, there is a safety aspect of using alternate controls wherein a new driver of the vehicle (commercial vehicles may change drivers frequently) may not be accustomed to the new location of the controls and cause and accident on the highway.  This could be a legal and liability problem for the vehicle owners and operators.

What advantage would your proposal have?  Aside from making driving available for those who are physically handicapped (no legs, for example) it is doubtful there is sufficient advantage in challenging the present and customary implementation of operational control of the vehicle.

Wishing you well but this idea seems like it is going the wrong direction.

PS:  New driverless vehicles coming soon may not even have a steering wheel!



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

Rubber coating
Rubber coating  
QUESTION: Dear ZZ

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
I don't like the push-button idea you suggested. Braking and acceleration are dynamically based operational functions.  For emergency stopping you must have a very quick, hard stop which requires more pressure to get it.  Same with acceleration; you cannot get enough tactile effect for quick speed up with button operation.  The control features for hand operation on the steering wheel requires must include quick, fast, hard operation to the drive system and brake system of the vehicle.

So, in conclusion I don't like the colored button concept.  

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ZZ

Expertise

Electronics questions about AC, DC and digital theory.

Experience

Graduate electrical engineer with over 40 years in electronic design, manufacturing, project organization and patent review. Experience in fields of industrial and consumer electronics (audio, video, acoustics, etc.)

Organizations
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers); Senior Life member AES (Audio Engineering Society), Fellow Life member

Education/Credentials
BSEE University of North Dakota

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