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Drive by Joystick



a “joystick” replaces the steering wheel, the gear stick, the throttling and brake pedals, handbrake, the signals, lights, and horn buttons. the joystick can be connected to a port on front center of each of the front seats, between the driver’s legs. it is leaned forward in its room as part of the seat, and when the driver wants to drive, they bring it upward.

joystick action:

  1. center (joystick automatically springs to center):
    a) car is stopped: P(ark+brake), when the car stops. in this state, the brakes are also locked and there’s no need to handbrake. as a safety measure, to avoid the car begin moving with incidental shaking of the stick, when start moving, the joystick center will remain P until the speed reaches a certain level, e.g., 5km/h or so.
    b) car is moving: D(rive) when moving forward, R(everse) when moving backwards.
  2. forward/backward: throttle while moving forward/backward, brake while moving backward/forward. when in P, moving the joystick forward/backward from the center the car moves forward (D)/backward (R).
  3. left/right: steer left/right. as a safety measure, the joystick has a speed-dependent maximum steering angle. mathematically, cotangent of the wheel steering angle is proportional to the turn radius of the rear wheel, and for a safe turn, min turn radius should increase proportionally with the square of speed. so, if at speed 20km/h and below, bending the joystick from side to side turns the wheel up to 45 degrees on each side, which equals turning a conventional steering wheel about 4 turns from lock to lock, at, for example, 60km/h, bending the joystick from side to side would turn the wheel up to just 6.34deg, which equals turning a steering wheel about 101deg, and at 120km/h, this further reduces to 1.59deg, or turning the steering wheel about 25deg, which are supposed to be the max safe steering angles at these respective speeds. in this config, the centrifugal acceleration of turning is speed-independent, i.e., at speeds above 10km/h, bending the joystick to a certain degree gives you the same acceleration and shock, no matter what the speed is, whether 10km or 200km.
  4. there are 7 buttons on back of the joystick, which can be pushed by the thumb:
    – 1. center: horn
    – 2. left/right: signals, which can be touched for quick signals or pushed for long-time
    – 3. up/down: light up/down, which can be touched for quick light up/down or pushed for long-time
    – 4. danger button, above these, but still in range of the thumb
    – 5. F(reewheel), opposite the danger button.
    – the power on/off mechanism in this system is optional; for example, the joystick could have a button for this.
  5. optional ‘self-driving algorithm’:
    this car needs a drive-by-wire system to transmit joystick commands to a ‘central process and command unit’, which is a small computer that processes and converts joystick orders to electronic commands and sends them to the hydraulic arms and other means that control the car. this unit can also simply take orders from a self-driving algorithm, which can drive the car on its own when activated. this algorithm can also cooperate with the driver in driving by:
    – driving the car when the driver takes his hands off the joystick while driving;
    – converting the driver’s joystick orders to safer ones by fine-tuning dangerous turns, brakes, and acceleration;
    – observing and avoiding colliding with people and obstacles by controlling the brakes;
    – and other uses.
    if the driver wants to race, he can disable this safety algorithm by a button on the joystick. the button is green when on, and red with the danger sign when off.

this car should have an automatic gearshift system.


there’s currently no competitor. Drive-by-joystick system has always seemed promising and future-like, but all the joystick concepts as of the date have been incomplete and not successful. but, far as you see, this design is almost conceptually complete and even much safer than the traditional steering system. my own evaluation of the pros and cons is:


  • there’s no steering wheel, gear handle, and handbrake in such a car, so there’s more room in there.
  • one can drive with just one hand, no matter left or right. this is an ergonomical advantage.
  • any disabled person with just one hand can now drive like healthy people.
  • 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, a joystick could be connected to either of the front seats, simply change your seat and drive at any side, no matter left or right.
  • this mechanism is probably the simplest and safest ever, so that nobody needs training to drive. everybody, even the children, knows how to drive a car with this joystick system at first glance. forward, backward, sides, buttons.
  • this system has an advantage for self-driving cars. currently, self-driving cars need mechanical controls for the driver and additional tools for the self-driving system to drive and control the car, but in this design this is quite natural: the car is controlled via just one mechanical system, that is, some hydraulic arms and other means, which is commanded by the central command unit, which on its turn, can take orders from either the joystick or the self-driving algorithm.
  • in this car, the driver just needs the joystick and doesn’t need direct access to the mechanical controls, like any steering wheel or any handle. the engine and all the hydraulic arms could be freely placed anywhere inside the body of the car, which gives an additional level of freedom to the design(s).


  • controlling the throttling and turning together at the same time could be 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 needs some training.



(lightly edited by moderator)rating;;2,1,3,0

Category: Tags: entered 4-Apr-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'.
I always thought this is a great idea
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.
Add wrist strap to jolt sleepy drivers when driving attention is required in addition to visual signals.