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Tesla Owner Makes Video Diary of His Experience Adapting to Yoke Driving

For some reason, Tesla decided people needed to be woken up from the pampering comfort of round steering wheels and made to learn how to drive all over again.
Tesla Model S Plaid yoke proves a handful 29 photos
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Just in case you don't know what we're talking about, the Model S Plaid that Tesla revealed this Thursday uses an airplane-like yoke instead of the trusted steering wheel we all know and love. The company's reasons behind this move are pretty obvious, though there might be others we're missing.

First, it makes the car feel more special with very little financial effort. Musk claimed the car would feel like a spaceship, and even though people haven't really agreed on how those will be controlled when they eventually come around, it most likely won't be through a steering wheel.

Second, it gives the cabin a more futuristic look as well as making the display in the instrument cluster easier to read. It's funny how the same company that insists on the redundancy of an instrument cluster in one of its models goes over its head to make it more accessible in another one. That's Tesla logic for you.

Third, it takes up less space, and you want as much of it as possible in a car that pretends (for the moment, at least) it'll be able to drive itself one day. That's also the reason behind the gaming console. Sure, it'll only actually be used to make Supercharger visits more entertaining (LAN Supercharger parties, anyone?), but you can also sell it as in-motion entertainment for the future.

Fourth, it'll get the media's attention, and that's something that's always on Tesla's mind. Since it doesn't advertise, the company relies on press coverage, and even bad press only means more reasons for Musk to take to Twitter and provide everyone with a new subject for their article.

Five, it's disruptive. The automotive industry has been doing steering wheels pretty much the same way for over a century, and then Tesla came along and changed everything. That's the narrative that people get when looking at the yoke - it makes the company seem more innovative than it really is (and it's plenty).

However, the truth is that people with good steering wheel handling etiquette shouldn't actually have any problem with the transition. You're supposed to keep your hands at three and nine anyway, so that doesn't change. For a light turn, you just rotate the wheel - sorry, yoke - without taking your hands off (you can do about 180 degrees each way). For a hard turn, you grab the opposite side of the yoke with the hand on the side of the turn and rotate, grabbing the other end of the yoke with your free hand as it rotates. This way, you can cover all 360 degrees of rotation (180 degrees with one hand on the wheel plus 180 degrees with both).

The only situation where it might become a problem is when you want to make a medium turn. Normally, you would grab the wheel from the top with the hand on the same side as the turn you're about to make, rotate the wheel and grab it with your other hand from the bottom. This gives you a maximum of about 270 degrees of rotation, but the yoke won't allow it.

Well, it looks like - at least for some people - the transition isn't as straightforward as it may seem. This owner says he still doesn't feel 100% comfortable after having the car for almost 72 hours. If you ask us, while we don't support the idea, we can't help noticing it promotes healthy steering wheel practices, which is always a good thing. However, if it requires people to feel as though they're learning how to drive again, it may signal that something isn't quite right. Fret not, somewhere in China aftermarket clip-ons that turn the yoke into a steering wheel are probably already being made, so it'll all be back to normal.



 
 
 
 
 

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