Currently reading: New Tesla ‘yoke’ steering wheel is legal in Europe and UK
Department for Transport refers to UN/EC regulation that doesn't dictate shape or size of steering apparatus
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2 mins read
5 February 2021

Tesla’s new U-shaped steering ‘yoke’, which is set to appear in the newly updated Model S and Model X, has been deemed legal in certain European markets, including the UK. 

The controversial new steering wheel design will be offered as an option on the recently unveiled facelift Model S and Model X alongside a conventional round wheel. At the time of the unveil, many questioned the legality of such a design outside of Tesla’s US home market. 

However, after the Sunday Times spoke to the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) and the Department for Transport (DfT), the latter pointed to the Economic Commission For Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE) Regulation 79. 

This regulation exists to “establish uniform provisions for the layout and performance of steering systems fitted to vehicles used on the road”. It was originally put into place to regulate now-common ‘drive-by-wire’ steering systems, in which there's no mechanical link to the car's wheels. However, the regulation doesn't stipulate anywhere that a steering device must be a specific size or shape. 

In fact, the UK government’s MOT inspection manual lists - in section 2.2.2 - advice for testing a “steering column or forks and yokes” in cars and passenger vehicles. The only requirement is that whatever form of steering control must be sturdily attached and have minimal play. 

Despite this good news for Tesla, the EV manufacturer will likely find it difficult passing another new feature - the Tesla Arcade built-in games console - through UK regulations. This device allows use of wireless video-game controllers from any seat. 

However, the DfT told the Sunday Times: “By law, drivers can only use screens when viewing driving information related to the state of the vehicle or its equipment. Screens used for anything else should not be visible to the driver while the vehicles is being driven.”

This means that even if a front passenger is playing a game, the ability for the driver to see it renders it illegal. It remains to be seen if either of these features will be offered on UK or European models when they're eventually exported.

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Peter Cavellini 7 February 2021

 Why change the essential thing ? the round Wheel, we had the aquatic Wheel in the 70's, Citroen had a round wheel with one bar connected to one side of the wheel in the 60's, they didn't catch on, they were styling for stylings sake, F1 car had a yolk style, can't remember when the became the norm, but, in a road car?, don't think it will help broken fingers, or the degloving accidents when , in an accident, the airbag goes off, a horrible injury, and nearly all of us don't put our Thumbs in the right position to avoid this, no, I think Tesla will be the only one to offer it.

Stockholm Calling 7 February 2021

The aquatic wheel! I think Peter is talking about the quartic wheel in the Allegro here.  That's autocorrect for you, or maybe Peter has started early on the sherry  today?

 

 Why change the essential thing ? the round Wheel, we had the aquatic Wheel in the 70's, Citroen had a round wheel with one bar connected to one side of the wheel in the 60's, they didn't catch on, they were styling for stylings sake, F1 car had a yolk style, can't remember when the became the norm, but, in a road car?, don't think it will help broken fingers, or the degloving accidents when , in an accident, the airbag goes off, a horrible injury, and nearly all of us don't put our Thumbs in the right position to avoid this, no, I think Tesla will be the only one to offer it.

[/quote]

Peter Cavellini 7 February 2021
Stockholm Calling wrote:

The aquatic wheel! I think Peter is talking about the quartic wheel in the Allegro here.  That's autocorrect for you, or maybe Peter has started early on the sherry  today?

 

 Why change the essential thing ? the round Wheel, we had the aquatic Wheel in the 70's, Citroen had a round wheel with one bar connected to one side of the wheel in the 60's, they didn't catch on, they were styling for stylings sake, F1 car had a yolk style, can't remember when the became the norm, but, in a road car?, don't think it will help broken fingers, or the degloving accidents when , in an accident, the airbag goes off, a horrible injury, and nearly all of us don't put our Thumbs in the right position to avoid this, no, I think Tesla will be the only one to offer it.

[/quote] Any Port?, I've said it before, I assume repetition as bad manners, yes, I was to busy to check what I'd said, but you got the just, Sherry goes in a Dessert, good Port goes in the glass after or during Dinner.

275not599 7 February 2021

This is disruption for disruption's sake. I much prefer the wheel on my daily: one big bar splitting into two on each end, so each hand has 2 places to hook a thumb on and other places above and below. On long journeys I want a variety of hand positions. Oh, but it's a Tesla so it will be completely autonomous by next Wednesday at half past fourish. Not.

275not599 7 February 2021

This is disruption for disruption's sake. I much prefer the wheel on my daily: one big bar splitting into two on each end, so each hand has 2 places to hook a thumb on and other places above and below. On long journeys I want a variety of hand positions. Oh, but it's a Tesla so it will be completely autonomous by next Wednesday at half past fourish. Not.