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A yoke or a joke?

VegasBlue

Member
Jun 6, 2016
40
114
Las Vegas
I have ordered my plaid S with the yoke.

Having said that, here are some thoughts.

  1. I have spent the last two days driving my car pretending I have a yoke, and not touching the top half of the steering wheel. I find it mildly annoying at best and dangerous at worst.
  2. Driving schools will correctly teach you that 10 and 3 hand positions allows for the most precise steering. Holding the yoke this way results in only half of your hands actually on the steering wheel which is tiring. It also means placing your hands over the touch sensitive buttons on the steering wheel, potentially inadvertently pressing all sorts of buttons.
  3. Driving schools will correctly teach you not to put "hand over hand" while turning the steering wheel. This is completely unavoidable with a yoke.
  4. While having turn signals and some controls on the steering wheel is beneficial because it allows you to activate those functions without moving your hands, having physical buttons is preferential because it allows you to feel the button without looking down, and also decreases accidental button pushes. Touch sensitive buttons look cool, but require you to look down to confirm that your hand is actually on the button. This negates the benefit of having the buttons on the wheel in the first place (other than having no stalks). It also increases accidental pushes, and no one wants to be that guy driving down the road, unaware that his turn signal is on.
  5. When the yoke is upside down during a turn, the buttons on the yoke are reversed. Up is down and left is right. While this seems obvious, it is dangerous. The left turn signal is now on the right and vice versa. Cars with gear paddles fixed to the steering wheel have the dangerous situation where the up-shift (on the right) is now the down shift which can cause the car to loose control if pressed at the wrong time and the car is downshifted during a turn causing a dangerous oversteer. In an emergency situation, muscle memory takes precedence.
  6. To emphasize the point further, in an emergency situation or an impending accident, grabbing at air, where the top of the steering wheel used to be could be fatal. Half a steering wheel means twice the chance of not being able to steer out of danger.
  7. Furthermore, a steering wheel with nobs on it has a good potential of getting caught on clothing or other objects when turning. This could inhibit or prevent a successful turn and cause accidents.
  8. While it is true that planes and formula one cars have a yoke, it is also true that they can’t make tight 90 degree turns either. They don’t back into tight parking spots at the supermarket. A pilot never ( and cannot) do a full lock to lock 5 rotations of the steering wheel to do a three point turn for example. This potentially could be solved by a speed sensitive steering algorithm, but would have to be quite extreme to compensate.
  9. The model S is expensive, and a large sedan. So the people likely to purchase it are likely to be older people who have money and have families. These are the people who are least likely to learn new tricks, or adopt gimmicks that might compromise comfort or safety.
 

Keith909man

Member
Apr 25, 2017
412
751
Tacoma wa
My personal opinion is that this yoke will not do a 365 degree turn. It may be limited to how a toy car works where about 45 degrees either direction turns the wheels completely one side to the other. May be one of those things that strange at first like “one peddle driving” then we start to prefer it.
 

Patrick W

Active Member
Mar 17, 2015
1,476
882
SLC, UT
I've been a pilot since the late 60s and every airplane save one that I've flown has used a yoke. I like yokes and don't really see a problem having them in what I drive on the ground. I like both of my current Ss so don't anticipate buying a yoke model anytime soon but do hope I get to test drive one just to see what it's like.
 

jmaddr

Member
Mar 29, 2019
892
894
Florida
I think variable ratio steering should help and must be getting employed here, though I’ve seen no mention of it.
At slow speeds a 90 degree turn of the wheel gives full lock of the front wheels and at 90 mph a 90 degree turn maybe gives 20 degrees from center. Then, you never have to take you hands off the wheel.
 

Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,189
383
USA
As stated above, the yoke will have digital proportional input, tilting around the center will result in small changes, the further you go the harder it will steer. Imagine the arc split in zones, just like when you adjust stick sensitivity and dead zone in a flight simulator (IL-2 Sturmovik).

And yes, of course, it is America and there will be plenty of octogenarian lawsuits claiming the imaginary 12 o'clock wheel grab fail, same guys with Play/Pause (ID.3, hehe) confusion induced unintended acceleration, same guys who sue their neighbor or doctor before even talking to them.
 
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jbcarioca

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2015
5,171
24,407
Many long-used control systems use progressive action (i.e. holding actuators in one direction gradually increase the speed of the actions selected. That happens with TV channel selections, document searches, geolocation selections and on and on. All of us are accustomed to that process so much that we don't even notice it happening, for the most part. A quick look around my house yesterday found the following devices that use progressive action, most of which I had not actually noticed: microwave, refrigerator (why do I have a high-tech refrigerator?), ventilators, at least three contract music/video providers (I gave up testing more), Erwin no SQL (without progressive action I would find it far too difficult to excise stupidity!), and even my silly ancient contact tracker.

All that has been so normal that we just use it and forget it. Ditto the aircraft systems we discuss ad nauseam here, plus accelerators, brakes, audio controls and much more.

Now we obsess over an electronic control device that for some obscure reason persists in using a control form that predates any automated controls. With progressive controls the physical range fo movement can be very modest. Just as in most aircraft controls pressures are the key force rather than physical range of movement.

Many of us intuitively see those analogies and are enthused about this change. Many of us cannot conceive of this change. Thus a grand debate.

The closest analogy I know is the grand debate over side sticks or yokes in aircraft controls. Violent disagreements still abound, even though both work equally well and have no discernible advantage in safety. As automation grows more and more such discussions will be raging.

Factually, my patent attorney (the most knowledgeable person I know of legal impediments to anything at all) says she cannot find direct mention of "steering wheel" as a form factor in any law or regulation anywhere (she also says there are thousands of possible regulatory items that are not accessible in her data bases). Why? I suspect there is no mention because no regulators imagined such a thing.

Lastly, using aircraft again as an example, here is FAR 25.1305:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2008-title14-vol1/pdf/CFR-2008-title14-vol1-sec25-1305.pdf
A quick look shows why it is impossible to have an electric transport aircraft in the US!
note: these rules are about the change, as they must.

Just as no one contemplated electrical steering actuation in an automobile they never imagined an aircraft operating on anything other than fossil fuel, so the rules mandate engine controls, instruments and fuel management systems that do not exist in an electrical aircraft.

Automobiles are no different in that most people cannot imagine that they have completely steering control by wire already, just because the systems are designed to allow people to imagine they are 'steering' just as they always did.

We in the Tesla community ought to be quite aware of these issues. Thus, we should know that the yoke is a transitional link. Soon we'll have a sidestick of something like it. Once one is accustomed to a sidestick anything else will seem obtrusive, even if one avoids direct autonomous driving.

Soon, if no one stops us, those of us who have gone from 100% mechanical human control to 100% automated human control will describe how a transition from high muscle intensive mechanical wheel/yoke to sidestick demanding light, precise pressures.

That is finally happening to us in a car! I cannot wait to change to the sidestick on the Plaid+ upgrade!

Traditionalists start howling now. In the meantime the oldster Chesley Sullenberger can explain why modern sidesticks and the enabling technology save lives, as they will in cars.

Sorry, folks, bu I really though it wise to describe what is about to happen once we're liberated from the ancient yoke of tradition.:D
 

cityberty

Member
Aug 10, 2018
111
50
NY
I think variable ratio steering should help and must be getting employed here, though I’ve seen no mention of it.
At slow speeds a 90 degree turn of the wheel gives full lock of the front wheels and at 90 mph a 90 degree turn maybe gives 20 degrees from center. Then, you never have to take you hands off the wheel.
Yeah the speed to turn ratio has to be adjusted for this but if they dont do it correctly that speed could be potentially dangerous espicially in a crowded tight city parking lot. Even if this is the better design I think most people are stuck in their ways and not all will like it.

Also NHTSA has reached out. Did Tesla really not collaborate with them beforehand? Im sure everyone here saw the embedded images with the full wheel already there has to be a backup plan of sorts.
 

TravelFree

Member
Mar 23, 2020
589
565
Jacksonville, Florida
I also don't need to spend $60K more to drive 200 mph either.

Just because an airplane uses a yoke doesn't make it better in a car. Would you want a wheel with knobs sticking out all the way around just because you have one on a sail boat? How about a rudder just like an airplane. Maybe eliminate the throttle from the floor and you push forward on the steering yoke to go faster. Tesla super fanboys will agree to anything Tesla puts out. The real question should be did that ask for this Yoke idea, begging for it even after it was shown before in the Cybertruck?

Seriously, we don't really know what Tesla is doing yet because those images were not real photos or even if the yoke will be only for the plaid +. Tesla promised more details soon.

Here's a preview I found:

2021-Model-S-X-Refresh-Full-Steering-Wheel-Mockup-Render-Image.jpg
 

viper2ko

Active Member
Aug 30, 2017
1,421
1,359
USA
I also don't need to spend $60K more to drive 200 mph either.

Just because an airplane uses a yoke doesn't make it better in a car. Would you want a wheel with knobs sticking out all the way around just because you have one on a sail boat? How about a rudder just like an airplane. Maybe eliminate the throttle from the floor and you push forward on the steering yoke to go faster. Tesla super fanboys will agree to anything Tesla puts out. The real question should be did that ask for this Yoke idea, begging for it even after it was shown before in the Cybertruck?

Seriously, we don't really know what Tesla is doing yet because those images were not real photos or even if the yoke will be only for the plaid +. Tesla promised more details soon.

Here's a preview I found:

2021-Model-S-X-Refresh-Full-Steering-Wheel-Mockup-Render-Image.jpg

They have enough of a cult like following that they will buy anything. Next car IMO won't even have a steering wheel bc Elon says FSD is perfect
 

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