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Thread: car and trucks for disabled drivers

  1. #1
    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    car and trucks for disabled drivers

    You'd think that as many of us disabled drivers as there are, One of the big Auto manufacturers would be smart enough to offer Hand controls for the disabled as a factory option.
    The stuff I see on the internet Ranges from clumsy to dangerous. The only systems that look decently engineered are prohibitively expensive. What with fly by wire throttles being completely common nowdays, that part could be adapted so easily.
    I would suggest an aircraft type yoke instead of a steering wheel. Full sharp turn with one quarter turn of the yoke. Twist grip for the throttle built into the yoke with cruise control on the other side. Brakes could be applied by pushing forward on the yoke or hand grip levers like on a motorcycle. Power brakes make it not only possible but practical.
    Large 650cc scooters have no pedal controls at all. Why not cars and pickup trucks?
    I have built my own hand throttle for my P.U. and have modified my brake pedal. I do not try to drive other cars or trucks because it would not be safe.
    I mostly ride a Honda Motorcycle with a sidecar. Since it is nearly all hand controls, it is an excellent disability vehicle. Fortunately I live in Hawaii where it is year round riding weather. It does however, rain sometimes.
    Since motorcycles have hand controls, Why not cars and trucks?
    Come on auto makers, get with it. Maybe it is time for the old ways to pass into history.
    The traditional steering wheel is left over from the pre power steering days when mechanical advantage was REQUIRED to steer a car. With modern power steering on nearly all cars and trucks, this is no longer the case. As all bikers
    are very much aware that very little actual motion is required to steer a vehicle.
    A set of handlebars or a yoke would serve better. A twist grip throttle would allow more delicate control than the traditional foot pedal for any driver, disabled or not.
    The ability of modern power brakes could easily be applied with hand grips just as on a motorcycle. Two grips would allow the brakes to be applied with either hand This would also leave more room on the floor board for dead un responsive legs and feet. Cruise controls would be with the left hand.
    Another way would be an aircraft type joy stick. Push left to turn left and right to turn right. Pull the stick back to speed up and push forward to brake. This would have the advantage of the forward shift of weight in hard braking being a natural motion in the direction of stronger braking. A system like this would also have the advantage of complete one handed operation for persons who also have only one hand.
    These solutions are so simple it can only be negligence that is the reason cars and trucks don't offer a better system.
    SanDue likes this.
    Phelonius

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Valid observations, quite feasible engineering-wise these days but likely liability concerns by manufactures out weigh benefits afforded to a limited customer base. Over the years various concept vehicles have explored many vehicle control alternatives to the steering wheel and pedals, however none I recall ever made it to mass production.
    Unfortunately perhaps manufactures are looking more to a future of hands-free autonomous personal transport as the answer.
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    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    What I find interesting is that the joy stick type controls are better for all drivers, not just the disabled. I think that none of them have the balls to change.
    As for liability, the biggest hazard there is that greedy lawyers will sue for profit even if nothing is wrong.
    Some day all personal transportation will be joystick controlled like a big electric wheelchair that can carry the whole family inside and at highway speeds.
    I probably won't live to see it though, it's about a generation away.
    Phelonius

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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    As for liability, the biggest hazard there is that greedy lawyers will sue for profit even if nothing is wrong.
    If you really believe that you are seriously misinformed. Suing large manufacturers is incredibly expensive. Almost no individual plaintiff can afford those expenses, they have to be advanced by lawyers. If the lawyers don't win, they lose their money. So, no lawyer invests in a case where there is "nothing wrong." If they did, they would soon be out of business.

    Nor do lawyers profit from cases where "nothing is wrong", they lose them. Lawyers don't decide cases, juries do. Regular common people selected from our populace. My experience is those juries are incredibly competent and have a great deal of collective wisdom, intelligence, and common sense.

    So, if you really believe what you said, you need to look further. If you were just lawyer bashing...well, heck, everyone does that, so have at it.
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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    As an aside, Fred's observation was incredibly astute. My guess is he is completely correct. Liability concerns outweigh profitability. It may also be that production expense and installation/repair expense exceeds profitability in the limited marketplace and therefore the gap is best filled by aftermarket providers. I simply don't know.

    While not offering, to my knowledge, hand controls, Toyota does have a Mobility program with certain mobility related modifications available. The program is even subsidized. Part may be good will, and part may be because the population is increasingly mobility challenged and there is a profit margin in offering the products at the original manufacturer level.
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    Senior Member jb882's Avatar
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    GM has a mobility program as well. I dont know anything about it beyond that it exists.

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    Senior Member Jon62602's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phelonius View Post
    You'd think that as many of us disabled drivers as there are, One of the big Auto manufacturers would be smart enough to offer Hand controls for the disabled as a factory option.
    The stuff I see on the internet Ranges from clumsy to dangerous. The only systems that look decently engineered are prohibitively expensive. What with fly by wire throttles being completely common nowdays, that part could be adapted so easily.
    I would suggest an aircraft type yoke instead of a steering wheel. Full sharp turn with one quarter turn of the yoke. Twist grip for the throttle built into the yoke with cruise control on the other side. Brakes could be applied by pushing forward on the yoke or hand grip levers like on a motorcycle. Power brakes make it not only possible but practical.
    Large 650cc scooters have no pedal controls at all. Why not cars and pickup trucks?
    I have built my own hand throttle for my P.U. and have modified my brake pedal. I do not try to drive other cars or trucks because it would not be safe.
    I mostly ride a Honda Motorcycle with a sidecar. Since it is nearly all hand controls, it is an excellent disability vehicle. Fortunately I live in Hawaii where it is year round riding weather. It does however, rain sometimes.
    Since motorcycles have hand controls, Why not cars and trucks?
    Come on auto makers, get with it. Maybe it is time for the old ways to pass into history.
    The traditional steering wheel is left over from the pre power steering days when mechanical advantage was REQUIRED to steer a car. With modern power steering on nearly all cars and trucks, this is no longer the case. As all bikers
    are very much aware that very little actual motion is required to steer a vehicle.
    A set of handlebars or a yoke would serve better. A twist grip throttle would allow more delicate control than the traditional foot pedal for any driver, disabled or not.
    The ability of modern power brakes could easily be applied with hand grips just as on a motorcycle. Two grips would allow the brakes to be applied with either hand This would also leave more room on the floor board for dead un responsive legs and feet. Cruise controls would be with the left hand.
    Another way would be an aircraft type joy stick. Push left to turn left and right to turn right. Pull the stick back to speed up and push forward to brake. This would have the advantage of the forward shift of weight in hard braking being a natural motion in the direction of stronger braking. A system like this would also have the advantage of complete one handed operation for persons who also have only one hand.
    These solutions are so simple it can only be negligence that is the reason cars and trucks don't offer a better system.
    The throttle brakes and steering yoke sound like the Honda Odyssey.
    Jon
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  9. #8
    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    Are you speaking of the automobile Honda Odyssey, or the off road ATV Odyssey?
    Phelonius

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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Attachment 23566

    I had one of the first yellow ones.
    Last edited by Borneo; 10-29-2015 at 02:29 PM.
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Yellow Perils! Inspirational forerunner of modern sport ATVs and UTVs. I still get aches and pains from when a borrowed first generation Quadracer stomped me good, back when they had no front brakes so they tended to tip over backwards on a failed hill climb.
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