No likelihood of a steering wheel as a substitute of a yoke within the Tesla Mannequin S.

  • Tesla redesigned its Model S with a yoke-style steering wheel, and we’re not the only ones wondering: is it safe for the average driver?
  • We reached out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and learned they weren’t “approving” design changes like this – it’s up to the automaker to ensure their products meet safety standards before they release them.
  • The Lenkjoch has both fans and critics, but Elon Musk says it will stay here.

    It just wouldn’t be a conversation about Tesla without some sort of controversy about the screen or the styling or the value proposition. The most popular new Tesla theme of all is the steering wheel or the steering fork in the Model S. The newly designed Model S comes with a rectangular “wheel” without a top bar. It looks like an upside-down Formula 1 wheel, or, as many people have pointed out, like the controls in Knight Riders’ KITT Neat. The big hit on the yoke isn’t whether it looks cool, but whether it’s comfortable or even safe on the road.

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    Many fans and critics assumed that at some point Tesla would offer the Model S with a traditional bike, but Musk recently got right to the point with a terse tweet to an online query. “No,” he said on a thread discussing possible alternative steering styles.

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    When it was first announced in January 2021, there were even questions about whether it was legal, with quotes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) appearing in several articles saying it would “contact Tesla for more information.” . Whatever that conversation was, it has to please the NHTSA investigators because when Car and Driver asked them for an update on the safety of the yoke, the rep responded with a sigh that was audible via email – ours doesn’t have to the first question to have been on the subject.

    “NHTSA does not ‘approve’ or test vehicles prior to their introduction,” she told us. “Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles meet all NHTSA safety standards and must certify that their vehicles are in conformity. The NHTSA standards do not prohibit circular steering controls, but manufacturers must ensure that the steering control meets all requirements for occupant impact protection. ”So if the steering control does not impale the occupants or leave the vehicle and impale pedestrians, the NHTSA doesn’t care what shape it is she has. Good news for Tesla, bad news if you were hoping to sell a spiked dog collar version.

    Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s a good idea in a car. Or maybe, more precisely, just because something is a good idea on an airplane or a racing car doesn’t mean it’s a good idea on a tram. Yoke-style controls aren’t new; You’ve been driving dragsters, airplanes, and the aforementioned F1 cars since the beginning of nitro racing, but you rarely have to park an open-wheeled Ferrari in parallel, and when you have a three-point turn in a top fuel rail you have more problems than just an uncomfortable steering ratio.

    When you see videos of people driving the Model S, it looks like parking is the most complicated change for people who are used to a round steering wheel. This has in part to do with Tesla’s decision not to adjust the steering ratio to the new yoke – it would be better with a faster ratio that would not have to turn the yoke that far – and we have to imagine that will be addressed in the future. Tesla doesn’t seem to have a problem developing products on the go. Some videos make the yoke seem impossible, but anyone who has stepped from a manual to an automatic and had to spend a day pressing an invisible clutch before muscle memory fades should have an idea of ​​how fast we can get one new can learn automobile layout. We noticed that racing driver Randy Pobst didn’t want to risk this learning curve on the corners of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Pobst can be seen wearing a Model S plaid up the mountain to a class win and a 10th place.

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    For people who don’t do their test drives on the edge of the cliff, there are also plenty of positive yoke reviews on YouTube. Much seems to have to do with how much the driver wants to like the yoke.

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    “I firmly believe in Tesla and what they do, but I would mention it if it wasn’t a good thing,” said YouTuber and electric car enthusiast TeslaRaj when we asked him about his yoke test drive. “I can’t say the yoke drastically improves the driving experience or safety, but I can say that you get used to it quickly and it doesn’t feel unsafe. If I were to complain about the yoke it would be the indicators are heavy to operate, not the steering. ” Raj went on to say that he notices and enjoys the clear field of view that the clipped wheel allows, and that he thinks any little learning curve is worth it for the style it brings into the cabin. “When I pay X for an electric car, it should feel like I’m in the future, and that feels like the future.”

    Another review leading up to Musk’s recent tweet seemed to agree with Raj that it wasn’t the steering that was difficult to use, but the touch-sensitive controls – and this is hardly a Tesla issue. Mercedes, we’re looking at your tiny steering wheel buttons.

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    It’s fun to have a fit every time an automaker tries something new, but crows and squids can use tools so that we, the most adaptable of all apes, can figure out how to ride the new Tesla Model S yoke, even if drive it is not the most sensible solution for steering. Does the Lamborghini Huracán with paddle shift make sense? Is the Porsche left-hand key? Has anything to do with the Ram TRX? If sensible were the only rule in automotive design, everything would look like the inside of a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. The yokes are coming, and if they crash at an unreasonable rate we will report to our friends at the NHTSA.

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