Steering

Shocks, Springs, Brakes, Frame, Body Work, etc

Moderator: Team

Post Reply
Ratu
Expert
Expert
Posts: 716
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:58 pm

Steering

Post by Ratu » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:26 am

Here is something interesting to consider.

Some while ago an editorial appeared in Racecar Engineering magazine wherein the editor discussed an idea he had come across. It seems that he'd been involved in a discussion with a human factors engineer who said that many of the primary control arrangements that we currently employ to direct various machines and systems are not the best options for so doing. He reported they may only be in place due to accidents of history, reasons of legacy, accepted convention, habit and an ornery conservatism. For example, the QWERTY keyboard, motor-cycle controls, the "sense" or phase of the rudder pedals in an aircraft, the placing of the brake pedal between the clutch and the accelerator in a manual shift car and the use of a multi-turn steering wheel in a car (here is an analogy to imagine, multi-turn handle bars on a bike!).

The automotive steering wheel was something worthy of further consideration and indeed, he went on to suggest that the best means to steer a car may well be by pedals (similar to the rudder pedals in a plane but utilised in the opposite sense and as a primary control for turning, not relegate to a secondary role as a mere "trimming" device as is done with aircraft). He introduced the idea of a pedal steer racecar with fixed side-sticks, one of which would have the throttle command mechanism mouted upon it and the other one with a clever mechanism for brake control with lots of tactile feedback. Interesting, it was.

In fact this was an interesting enough idea to initiate quite a bit of discussion at the vehicle engineering consultancy I had a bit to do with at the time. Some thought that the brakes ought to be differentially controlled (left/right) by the side-stick controllers. They could control the brakes as a trim device. The return of the fiddle-brake! Holy McLaren! Some thought this would be an excellent control not only for racecars but also on the street. More natural to learn and operate they opined. After all, people walk and they use their feet to make turns...

The clutch was an issue (although not so much of a problem these days, one would suggest). If the feet were engaged in steering full time, there was no convenient means for using them to actuate a clutch. So the clutch went on one of the side-sticks. Yes, there were some great discussions and arguments about the possible layouts and schemes and which would be the superior. I especially admired the idea that all of the secondary controls (even for the sound system) could be incorprated on the side-sticks. You'd never ever have to take your hands off the controls...

So, having recently been reminded of this fun time and an interesting topic, I thought I'd put it out for your considere comments. How would you'll make it work? What would be the best arrangement?

Comments? Have at it!

pdq67
Guru
Guru
Posts: 7659
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Steering

Post by pdq67 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:30 pm

In the way old days when cars were just coming out, some were steered using a, "tiller arm".

I think an early curved dash Olds had one?

Try here.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=cu ... ORM=IQFRBA

pdq67

Ratu
Expert
Expert
Posts: 716
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:58 pm

Re: Steering

Post by Ratu » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:17 am

pdq67

Tiller steering! That is neat!

I went off and did a patent search after reading your email and viewing some of the leads in yuor link. There are actually quite a few tiller mechanisms for cars. An interesting one is Lanchester's patent. It is a tiller steer which even has Ackerman geometry built in!

Post Reply