Entertainment

Tesla might be cracking on the yoke steering wheel and planning to offer an option for a regular round wheel

When Tesla introduced the controversial yoke steering wheel, CEO Elon Musk surprised many when he said that the automaker didn’t even plan to offer the option for a regular round steering wheel.

According to an update in the latest software, it looks like Tesla might be changing its mind on that front.

When Tesla unveiled the new Model S with the “yoke” butterfly steering wheel, it was controversial. Some were worried about the actual shape of the wheel being problematic, while others were concerned about the lack of drive stalk to choose the drive mode.

As for the former, we thought that the automaker wouldn’t risk bringing the controversial yoke steering wheel to market without a nonlinear steering curve enabled by a steer-by-wire system – especially knowing that Tesla has been developing a steer-by-wire system.

However, as Tesla started deliveries of the new Model S Plaid last year, we were surprised to see that the wheel had a normal 14.0:1 steering ratio, and it is proving to be impractical at lower speeds.

There are even some driving scenarios where the butterfly not only becomes impractical but potentially dangerous.

For example, if you lose control on an icy road, it could be harder to do some quick maneuvers to regain control.

CEO Elon Musk later confirmed that Tesla is indeed working on progressive steering, but it’s still years away.

As for the lack of stalks, Tesla replaced all their functions with force touch buttons on the wheel, even for things like turn signals and the horn. Musk’s logic is that “all input is an error,” and that the car should automatically perform all the functions that were on the stalks (now on the force touch buttons).

However, the capability is not quite there yet, especially when it comes to the horn, and Tesla has been quite stubborn when it comes to the yoke steering wheel. Despite several Model S Plaid prototypes spotted with regular steering wheels, the automaker has refused to offer it as an option.

But over the last few weeks, we have seen signs of Tesla starting to crack on the yoke steering wheel.

First off, a Model S prototype with a regular horn was spotted last month.

And now, Tesla hacker ‘green’ spotted in an update to Tesla’s service tools a mention of a steering wheel swap with the option for ‘Yoke’ or ‘Round’:

While the service is not available yet, it looks like a good indicator that Tesla is planning to offer Model S and Model X owners to swap for a regular round wheel.

However, it doesn’t look like the stalks are coming back as Musk is still betting on “all input is an error.“


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