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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?