A Movable Steering-Wheel System for Car Driving at Older AgesBy Wang, Der-An; Wang, Tai-Yu; Lin, Yan-Cherng; Chiang,Mu-Sheng; Gerontechnology, Volume 8, Number 2, pages 104-108
Publication Date: Spring 2009
Paper outlines the development of a new cabin design for cars in use by older drivers with disabilities. A sedan car is chosen as the platform for the proposed “geront-vehicle,” which has a flat cabin floor, long floor guides, and a central storage box that is movable along the floor guides. The traditional power steering system is replaced by a steer-by-wire system in which the steering column and shaft are omitted. This system, which originates from airplane design, is completely electrical and includes a steering wheel control and a road wheel control subsystem. Using steer-by-wire allows for the whole steering wheel component to retract into the dashboard when desired. The movable steering wheel system can be combined with additional advanced vehicle technology such as brake-by-wire, acceleration-by-wire, and a global positioning system (GPS). Since the steering wheel is retractable, the space between the front seats and the dashboard can be very wide. The vehicle may also be equipped with an electric auxiliary seat for drivers with mobility disabilities; this seat may also function as an independent wheelchair outside the vehicle. Additional features of the proposed vehicle are a driving posture control unit which integrates the steering wheel system and the electric seat, and a remote control function which moves out the electric auxiliary seat when the car door is opened, thus reducing the total time to board the vehicle.
Published by: International Society for Gerontechnology (Website:http://www.gerontechnology.info)
International Society for Gerontechnology (Web Site: http://www.gerontechnology.info )
Link to text: http://gerontechnology.info/index.php/journal/article/view/gt.2009.08.02.003.00/998