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First Drive with a Steering Wheel on a Model S

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While I love my yoke, I think that there is a valid argument to be made that a steering wheel is safer from a couple of perspectives. First, there are more locations to grip a wheel than there are to grip a yoke. Second, the torque placed on a steering wheel to turn the vehicle is completely symmetric while the torque to turn the yoke is asymmetric; the force you apply to turn the vehicle when grabbing the sides of the yoke (vertical edges) is LESS than the torque required to turn the vehicle while grabbing the horizontal (lower) edge of the yoke. In fact, the only location on the yoke where the torque application is the same everywhere you grab it is the vertical edges of the yoke; as soon as you start grabbing the horizontal edge, the torque need to apply the same turning force is different at EVERY location on the bottom edge. The highest torque from the drivers arms is the very center of the lower edge of the wheel because this has the shortest lever arm. The least force required is right at the corners of the lower edge of the yoke because they are furthest away from the rotational axis of the yoke. None of these issues exist on the steering wheel because every point on the steering wheel (assuming it is perfectly circular) is the same no matter where you grab it.

This said, while I firmly believe that the missing 180 degrees of grip on the yoke, and the (mostly) asymmetric torque required to turn the vehicle IS more dangerous than a steering wheel, I love the yoke more. There really is no argument that the yoke is safer, or that the safety of the yoke and the steering wheel are the same, they are not. The steering wheel is safer than the yoke if you have a firm grasp on physics.

The yoke is better for me, and I do not care that it is more dangerous. No matter what anyone says, the choice of a steering wheel is a more logical and safer choice. The choice of the yoke for many, is a nod towards illogical beauty of the yoke…. And everything boils down to personal choice. There really is no right or wrong here. If you value safety; get the wheel. If you think that the yoke is a work of art in the cabin, get the yoke… but please do not argue that there is a “right” or “wrong” choice here; there simply is not.

Very well said. I agree - aesthetically the yoke gives a very sleek appearance to the cabin. As you say, there are people (like you) who will prefer the yoke, despite its compromises and it does boil down to a personal decision. I just think that decision should be made with full knowledge of all the factors.