Tesla will abandon the mechanical link between the steering wheel and wheelsOctober 14, 2020
The Tesla company is looking for engineers to develop a new steering system
Tesla has begun searching for employees at a research center in Austin, Texas, where the group’s largest electric vehicle plant in the United States is currently under construction.
One of these positions is for engineers who will be developing electronic steering. The job ad was discovered by Electrek.co.
Tesla cars have long been equipped with electric steering, which allows the computer to turn the wheels when the car is on autopilot. However, the mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the wheels in Tesla is also present, so that even in automatic mode, when maneuvering, the steering wheel in the cabin still turns.
The new control system by wire provides that the steering wheel becomes nothing more than a joystick like in racing simulators, which is connected exclusively with sensors that fix its position. If the driver turns such a steering wheel, a signal comes from the sensors and the electric drive is already turning the wheels.
This system has several advantages. For example, the driver can customize the steering, choosing its sharpness and number of revolutions from lock to lock for specific driving conditions. The disadvantage is the complete absence of mechanical feedback, which makes it difficult to “feel” the car. A side effect is that with the new system, when maneuvering on autopilot, the steering wheel will remain completely still. In addition, the joystick steering wheel can be used in the parking lot to play racing simulators on the front display.
Fully digital control in cars is not revolutionary. Almost the same system is on the Infiniti Q50 petrol sedan, which has been sold for many years. However, in Infiniti, the steering shaft is still present, it is just that under normal conditions it is open by a clutch. In an emergency, the clutch closes and the driver is able to control the wheels exclusively by the force of his hands. The latter is done because in a number of countries fully electronic steering is prohibited by law.
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