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BMW yoke steering wheel patent unearthed, is bonkers

BMW car filed a patent application for a new type of “rudder”. The closest word in the English language that we have for something like this is “yoke”, but that doesn’t really describe the madness of the design. BMW calls it a “handle”, but a more accurate description would be something like two handles that would make the operator look like they were using a Stairmaster.

Discovered by Carbuzz, the steering wheel patent has been filed with not only the US Patent and Trademark Office, but also its partner agencies in Germany and China also. They suggested that it be used in a self-driving car of some kind, to free up space that a traditional steering wheel would take up.

The handle appears to consist of two grips that rotate around a fixed center. The L-shaped grip has lower legs connected to a ring around the shaft, while the top pins extend vertically, perpendicularly from the plane of the shaft toward the driver. The ring ensures that the pins are always on opposite sides of the shaft from each other. However, when the user operates them, the two shanks rotate around the shaft, freely rotating like a handwheel.

Aftermarket wheels Nardi Two Spokes

We can say that this goes a little further in reinventing the wheel than Tesla yoke, that’s was terrible, but at least still works like a regular steering wheel. However, this design really resembles an unusual Nardi after-sales The steering wheel is called Two spokes, shown above. It only has two spokes with fighter-style handles that rotate freely on each end, allowing you to keep your grip intact, at least until you have to turn the wheel completely.

We can only think of one good reason this steering wheel exists and that is potentially a driving aid for the disabled. However, the market already has knobs that can be adjusted to fit existing steering wheel designs.

Companies apply for patents for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s purely to claim a technology they will never use or to discourage others from marketing with a similar idea. We hope this one stays in its conceptual form.

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