TLC way of the fu­ture

Could this con­cept car spell the end of the steer­ing wheel?

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

‘‘ The Honda way of think­ing is ‘ pri­or­ity is hu­man’,’’ says de­vel­op­ment boss Takamitsu Ta­jima. ‘‘ I re­alised the po­ten­tial to drive fast and safe.’’

Carsguide first saw the TLC sys­tem at a tech­ni­cal brief­ing in Tokyo last year by Honda De­sign cre­ative direc­tor Yoshi­nori Asahi, who ex­plains: ‘‘ We pur­sue what is a good feel­ing among peo­ple. It is food for thought. We are work­ing for pro­duc­tion.’’

Ta­jima says the­o­ret­i­cal work on the twin-lever sys­tem be­gan in 2003 and he first tried it on a go-kart, tak­ing less than a month to show its po­ten­tial to his bosses be­cause it used a more nat­u­ral move­ment.

‘‘ A sim­ple back-and-forth mo­tion is nat­u­ral for hu­mans, com­pared to turn­ing a wheel,’’ Ta­jima says. ‘‘ For­ward-and­back­ward arm move­ment is in­tu­itive work with­out think­ing. This means that the twin lever can be ma­nip­u­lated more in­tu­itively. ‘‘ With a twin lever it is easy to con­trol force, po­si­tion and speed, so it has good con­trol­la­bil­ity. Com­pared to a wheel, the twin lever is eas­ier to op­er­ate. Even (oc­ca­sional) driv­ers said it was easy to drive. This sys­tem is easy for peo­ple who are not good at driv­ing, and the elderly.’’

Ta­jima cites other ad­van­tages of the sys­tem, in­clud­ing re­mov­ing the need for an airbag in a steer­ing wheel, as well as a clearer view of in­stru­ments and the road.

Twin-lever steer­ing, he be­lieves, could rev­o­lu­tionise car in­te­rior de­sign.

Space age: Twin-Lever Con­trol , pre­viewed on Honda’s EVSTER, could make steer­ing wheels ob­so­lete

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