Goodbye steering wheel, here comes drive-by-joystick

Toyota shows a couple of concept vehicles with joystick control systems

Tokai Rika's dual-joystick prototype

Tokai Rika's dual-joystick prototype

Today it's the stuff of video games but Toyota is experimenting with joystick control for a new breed of compact cars and transporters. The world's biggest car maker built the technology into a couple of concept vehicles that were on display Wednesday at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The FT-EV II, which got its world premiere at the event, is a compact electric vehicle designed for short trips. The car retains seats for four passengers despite being much more compact than most other cars and packs drive-by-wire technology so it can be controlled with a joystick.

The car features a pair of joysticks that duplicate one another's movements so it doesn't matter which one is pushed, pulled or turned to control the car.

The car's steering, braking and acceleration can be controlled by hand so foot pedals aren't needed, freeing up space to provide more legroom for the driver.

The i-Real, a second concept that has been shown before, also utilizes two joysticks. It's a single-person transporter that looks like a futuristic chair on wheels. The joysticks are at the end of each armrest.

The joystick control system in Toyota's i-Real was developed by component maker Tokai Rika, which was showing it and two other prototype control systems on its booth at the motor show. Like the i-Real system, the other two prototypes have no pedals.One prototype employed a single joystick. Left and right movements of the stick steered the vehicle -- in this case a digital car on a driving simulator screen -- while acceleration and braking was accomplished by pushing it forwards and pulling in back.Another prototype looks like a pilot's yoke on an aircraft. It has a couple controls on the inside of each of the grips that can be operated with a thumb to control the acceleration and braking.

All the systems are prototypes and there's no word on when any will be coming to market.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Toyotajoystick

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?