Drive by Joystick



a “joystick” replaces the steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, gear shifter, handbrake, signals, light and horn buttons.


stick properties:

– place: between the front seats.

– action:

1. center (the stick automatically springs to center): keeps current state.

a) car is stopped: P(ark), brakes auto-lock (no need to handbrake).

b) car is moving forward: D(rive)

c) car is moving backward: R(everse).

(no need to gear shifter)

2. forward/backward:

P: D/R

D: gas/brake

R: brake/gas

3. left/right: steer left/right.

as a safety measure, the stick has a speed-dependent steering ratio (ratio of the stick angle to the wheel steering angle) so that the max steering angle decreases with increasing the speed, so that the steering angle is limited to the safe steering angle at any speed.*

4. 4 thumb buttons on the stick:

– left/right: signals, touch for temporary or push to turn on signals.

– up/down: horn/headlight

5. hand-off:

D: “cruise” mode.


this car needs a drive-by-wire system to transmit stick commands to the program, which

– fine-tunes driver’s joystick commands to limit turn, brake, and acceleration rates to the safe range;

– cruises/auto-drives when the driver takes hand off of the stick while driving;


there’s currently no competitor. Drive-by-joystick system has always seemed promising and futuristic, but all the joystick concepts to the date have failed for having a constant steering ratio, which causes steering very sharp and dangerous at higher speeds. i here not only solved this, but made the joystick much safer than the traditional steering wheel.


– ergonomic advantages:

+ one-hand driving:
one can drive with just one hand.
any disabled person with just one hand can now drive like healthy people.

+ left/right symmetry:
there’s no difference for right-handed or left-handed people. the joystick is symmetrical and there’s no difference for the right or left hands.
this system could be equally used in both left- or right-side driving countries. simply change your seat and drive at any side, no matter left or right. side in driving is history.

+ simple to learn:
this is the simplest driving mechanism, nobody needs training to drive. everybody, even children, would know how to drive a car with this joystick system at first sight. forward, backward, sides, buttons.

+ more room space:
with no steering wheel, no pedal, no gear shifter, no handbrake in such a car, there’s more room in there.

+ faster control:
bending this joystick to sides is much easier and faster than turning the steering wheels of traditional cars a few turns to each side.


– safety:

+ safe steering range & rate:
the steering system of this car is speed dependent and limits the maximum steering angle to a safe amount, and the ECU limits and fine tunes the turn rate. this brings the chance of skidding and overturning the car next to zero, which is of great importance specially at higher speeds.

+ the chance of mistakenly throttling instead of braking in this car is next to zero.

+ without the steering wheel this car has one additional level of safety for the driver.

+ the chance of mechanical failure in this car is really low, because this car doesn’t have that much mechanical parts and junctions. this design reduces all the mechanical parts and junctions of the traditional steering and pedaling systems to just some hydraulic arms and wires.

+ unlike mechanical parts and junctions, which could not be automatically tested, all the wires and electric connections of this car could be simply tested against failures by a central diag system which tests these parts’ electrical resistance to ensure their health.

+ if any behavior of this joystick, whether throttling, steering, etc., is ever found to need a change for more safety, unlike traditional cars, you can do it at almost no cost and changing no hardware is needed. they just update the software in the command unit.

– engineering advantages:

+ less mechanical parts:
mechanical parts and junctions in the steering wheel, pedals, and gear shifter are replaced with the electronic parts of the joystick.

+ software instead of mechanical control:
behaviors of this car are a matter of software rather than hardware. instead of the mechanical joints and controls, behavior of this car is controled and could be fine tuned by the ECU. unlike mechanical behaviors, which could not be altered, the software of this car could be updated for a better, fine-tuned control. for example, to change its turning rate, just change the software codes in the ECU.

+ advantages for self-driving:
this system is an absolute must for self-driving cars. currently, self-driving cars need 2 mechanical control systems, one for the driver and an additional set of tools for the self-driving system to drive and control the car. in this design there is just one unified mechanical control system, that is, hydraulic arms and other means, which are commanded by the ECU, which takes orders from either the joystick or the self-driving algorithm.

– simultaneous control of throttling and steering could be a bit tricky and hard, especially in danger situations, when it’s needed to control the throttling and steering both sharply and independently of each other, the driver could mix. getting used to this may need some training and experience. for example, it is recommended that when approaching a turn, the driver first changes the speed, and then the steering angle, which is easy to do, not both at the same time.

lightly edited by moderator
Category: CY3XS Applies to:
     Created 4-Apr-2017


I think that control wheel is getting old, but the big problem it is that drivers must be retrained in case we move too quick to the future ;-)
    Created 2-Aug-2020
Add wrist strap to jolt sleepy drivers when driving attention is required in addition to visual signals.
    Created 2-May-2019
An interesting idea that is more enabled by the whole electric car concepts like e-drive and autopilot functions.  A more intuitive control system that only now has the possible technology to implement safely.  I believe it's worthy of consideration.  It has proven itself in aviation for generations.
    Created 8-Aug-2018
I always thought this is a great idea
    Created 30-Jun-2017
the original name was 'inclusive Drive by JOYSTICK system', but moderator changed it to steering & braking!!! it's weird! where in the hell i talked about just steering and braking? what about the gas pedal? the signals? the horns? this joystick replaces all of these not just steering and braking! the worst moderation ever! the worst! sorry, but if you don't mind i changed it to 'Drive by Joystick'.
    Created 5-Apr-2017