This Futuristic Steering Wheel Concept Was Designed By An Actual Rocket Scientist

The automobile would change instructions by turning the dials, which used roller chains attached to the central steering column to transmit instructions. Both rings labored in unison, so the driving force may use one or each to steer the car. Rumpf designed the “Wrist-Twist” so the sprocket ratios could possibly be adjusted to vary the steering ratio, be tilted up and down like several common wheel, and rapidly swapped with a automobile’s current steering controls.

It was a easy idea with some advantages. First, eliminating the “wheel” portion gave the driving force a greater view of the gauges on the instrument panel and offered a greater line of sight down the street. Additionally, taking out the onerous “wheel” obstruction eliminated the hazard of hitting one’s head throughout an accident in a time earlier than airbags.

One disadvantage was that power-assisted steering wanted a hydraulic pump to work appropriately. If that failed, you can nonetheless muscle a standard steering wheel sufficient to tug over the car. That wasn’t the case with the smaller dials on the “Wrist-Twist” system. There’s inadequate leverage to crank these rings and get the tires to show. However, Rumpf tackled this drawback by making a secondary energy system that kicked in if the engine stopped or the hydraulic pump failed, per MotorTrend.

Based on take a look at drives carried out in 1965, some 200 women and men mentioned that the majority features of the Wrist-Twist system have been “excellent” (by way of MotorTrend). At the time, Ford felt the system was an entire success, but it by no means went into whole manufacturing. A 1968 issue of Popular Mechanics included a blurb saying it was “still alive and kicking,” however after that … it vanished into oblivion. Rumpf, nevertheless gathered 15 U.S. patents, primarily for car security (by way of MacsMotorCity).

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