Topic 2 Posts

EV

Steer-by-wire

Steer-by-wire gives you variable ratio turns, which eliminates hand-over-hand wasted motion. It also lets you control multiple parts (front and rear-wheel steering, plane aero surfaces) without complex mechanicals. Used on Cybertruck.

Accelerate- and brake-by-wire are already common. EVs smoothly blend physical and regen braking, and let you set different driving profiles like chill or sport.

You need a lot of power to steer large craft like ships and planes. Simpler to apply that directly to the part than to inject it at the controls and transmit it all the way back.

Steer-by-wire de-links the controller. Turning the Cybertruck steering wheel doesn’t turn the wheels when power is off. So the autopilot no longer pointlessly spins the steering wheel.

(I wonder whether the steering wheel position is misaligned with the wheels when you take over from autopilot.)

Steer-by-wire requires more power than the old 12V system can practically deliver, so Cybertruck switched to 48V, a multiple of 12 and around the limit of what’s safe to touch.

Steer-by-wire on Cybertruck is rumored to use a consensus voting system like planes, where 2 of 3 redundant sensors must agree.

Love to see this trickle down to mainstream #EVs.

Glass cockpits

Say your car had a touchscreen with fixed climate buttons which never move or change. What’s the difference?

Physical buttons give you tactile feedback for location and activation, but are more expensive and unreliable.

Soft buttons can be updated, improved, usability fixed. They can be overloaded to control more features.

There are damn good reasons spaceships, planes and phones went glass cockpit. You just want the handful of constant-use features to be physical controls.