Can Aptera keep the manual steering?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Can Aptera keep the manual steering?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Can Aptera keep the manual steering?

  • Can Aptera keep the manual steering?

     Eric Alkema updated 1 month, 1 week ago 22 Members · 41 Posts
  • Charles Kaneb

    Member
    October 18, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    For those of us who have enjoyed old sportscars, one of the great pleasures of driving is the feedback from the steering – the surface of the road, the weight transferring onto an off of the front tires, the load building as you enter corners and fading off as you exit. Can the manual steering be kept as an option? The car’s light enough that 70-year-old Jay Leno didn’t have trouble with the effort.

  • David Marlow

    Member
    October 19, 2021 at 2:13 am

    While regular driving is not a problem with the manual steering, parking may be. Also keeping the number of mechanical options down keeps assembly simpler. A question of how many are interested in getting the self driving option or adding it later will be of concern with that issue.

    • DIRK WRIGHT

      Member
      October 11, 2022 at 8:49 am

      Manual steering during parking is not a problem for a very light vehicle.

  • Ray Holan

    Moderator
    October 19, 2021 at 4:51 am

    I’m with you, Charles. I much prefer the tactile feedback of a manual steering mechanism. In the pursuit of minimal weight it would be one less component(s) in the curb weight of the vehicle. The parking effort that we might experience has to be considered I suppose. I believe the current iteration of the vehicle has 195 cross section tires. My 2006 Honda Insight weighed about the same as Aptera at <2,000 lbs. but had 155 cross section tires. These were no problem at all in a parking situation. Tires with 195 cross section would have much more resistance to turning in comparison. That said, I’d prefer manual steering if it wouldn’t take Dwayne Johnson biceps to park.

    • Francis Giroux

      Member
      October 11, 2022 at 3:29 pm

      Are you saying my 2000 Honda Insight doesn’t have power steering. I never noticed.

      • John Voules

        Member
        October 11, 2022 at 3:41 pm

        Rarity and a small exception!…My 1980 rx7 didn’t have it either.

  • Bob Kirchner

    Member
    October 19, 2021 at 6:40 am

    I also miss unassisted steering, and wonder why people perceive it as a necessity regardless of a car’s weight.

    They have discussed using independent control of the hub motors to provide steering assistance at low speeds. This could be done with no increase in weight or mechanical complexity, and has been shown to work for Archimoto. Beyond low speeds, no assistance should be needed in a light car.

    Narrower section tires would make steering easier and reduce rolling resistance as well as drag. The problem is that given the current fashion for wide tires, and the hub motors’ need for a relatively large diameter wheel, you risk ending up with a specialised and hard to get size such as that on the BMW i3 or the Smart For2

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    October 19, 2021 at 6:43 am

    You can’t have manual steering and also have any sort of self driving. They are offering a Level 2 package, which I’ve selected on my reservation, so they are planning on having some features which I would guess would just be lane keep and hopefully dumb summon.

    • Bob Kirchner

      Member
      October 19, 2021 at 6:46 am

      I guess given the choice between the two, I’d take manual steering, but I know I’m in the minority. Very few drivers today have ever experienced really good manual steering, and so don’t know what they are missing.

      • Joshua Rosen

        Member
        October 19, 2021 at 7:16 am

        What I’d really like to see is three wheel steering which would make parking much easier. I doubt they will do that but I think they do have plans for torque vectoring which the hub motors make possible.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      October 19, 2021 at 10:55 am

      My current car (04 matrix) was my first vehicle with power steering. It doesn’t take a ton of strength to resist the feedback of a normal vehicle and the response was something I really missed (except when driving 60km up washboard dirt road). Losing safety features to get it back it really not worth it but I do wonder about the technical possibility of faking it with solonoids, sensors, and software.

    • Charles Kaneb

      Member
      October 20, 2021 at 1:35 pm

      The self-driving features are optional. I suspect the Venn diagram of customers who want self-driving features and customers who want manual steering is a pair of spectacles – power steering should come in the automation package.

  • John Trotter

    Moderator
    October 19, 2021 at 11:09 am

    I believe torque steering is only possible with steer-by-wire and that modern advancement might be worth more than the good-old-days mechanical feedback. After almost 60 years of driving, I’m willing to move on.

    • Bob Kirchner

      Member
      October 19, 2021 at 12:20 pm

      As deployed in the Archimoto it is definitely not steer by wire. The mechanical connection between the handlebars and the front wheels is still there. In fact it can be deployed to existing Archimotos (Archimoti?) by software update.

  • Paul Schultz

    Member
    October 19, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    As mentioned in order to provide a level 2 semi-autonomous Advanced Driver Assistance System there needs to be an electronic power steering (EPS) that can respond to commands via the CAN bus. The negates any manual steering option. I’ve been running a level 2 system on my daily commute and it really does make the 62-mile one-way trip very ‘chill’.

    Paul

    • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

      Member
      October 19, 2021 at 8:21 pm

      electric steering could at least replicate manual steering at least at a less intense level of feedback, so its gives at least some interaction with just software switch on/off. they say porsche has recently done considerably well in this vs how its been. a screw on manual connection for more naturally progressive more intense steering feedback might be possible, would make the difference taking advantage of light weightness. yes its too wide, but that doesnt really ruin sportiness either. its hard selling this car in todays mass psycho culture, it needs whatever sportiness it can get, and a removable steering rack (screw in and out from inside, after screwing off the dashboard) would probably be lighter and less expensive than more anti NVH material plus more satisfying, b/c if most people buying 2 seater arnt buying 2 seater for exceptional NVH isolation that many other cars have and aptera already is rather harsh ride at least b/c of the rear suspension. best to excel at something than be mediocre at many things, especially for 2 seater car in curent market.

    • Charles Kaneb

      Member
      October 20, 2021 at 1:36 pm

      The ADAS is optional, so the EPS should be included in the ADAS package.

      • Boz O’Clown

        Member
        October 11, 2022 at 3:44 pm

        A very good point that I didn’t consider. thx

  • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

    Member
    November 14, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    see bently continental all wheel steering system. also, emulating drifting without burning tires as much, less toxicity, smell, and potentiall another way of manual control over car via lever to make up for loss in manual tranmission. also aerodynamic effeincy during lane change improves while giving next level minimum drama action (fitting for minimum feeling cars like rolls royce phantom , panamera, style car)

    Swingarms with steering are already a well proven design in motorcycles, see BMW and Vyrus. Rear wheel steering would also aid in maneuvering stability at speed, a la the Moose Test. it can also excuse away some weight in chassis.

  • Boz O’Clown

    Member
    October 9, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    I’ve owned several cars that didn’t have power steering: VW Type 1 (Bug), Gen 1 Porsche 911, Gen 1 Miata and others. They were lightweight and really didn’t need it. All gave me great steering feedback. The more boosted the steering power assist, the less feedback (like my SUV). I’m thinking at about 2000 lbs, the Aptera won’t need it. Of course I’m considering only ease of steering. Maybe there are other reasons to have it that I’m not aware of.

    • John Voules

      Member
      October 11, 2022 at 3:52 pm

      Aren’t all those vehicles rear wheel drive? Aptera will have a motor on each of its front wheels. I would expect that added weight may not be as easy to steer at low speeds.

  • John Voules

    Member
    October 9, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    Steering wheels are getting smaller and in our case a smallish Yoke, you may not have the leverage to easily turn the yoke. Also back in the day when everything was rear wheel drive, it was fairly easy to maneuver a light vehicle without power steering.

  • Russell Fauver

    Member
    October 9, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    My Solectria Force drives fine without power steering. It weighs about 2200 pounds and has a smallish steering wheel. It’s a little heavy when turning the wheel from stop to stop while sitting still but no problem at all when in motion.

    • John Voules

      Member
      October 10, 2022 at 1:44 pm

      Not everyone would enjoy turning the wheel back and forth while doing parallel parking. The vast majority of Americans are now used to an easy turning radius. The technology also to have a great road feel on in your hands can be built in to the design. Let’s hope that APTERA found a good balance of rode feel and control.

  • David Marlow

    Member
    October 11, 2022 at 12:02 am

    For those who like manual steering, buy an old car. Aptera is about the future not the past.

  • DIRK WRIGHT

    Member
    October 11, 2022 at 8:52 am

    One problem is that they can’t keep the yoke if it’s manual steering. The reason is that the number of turns lock-to-lock has to increase with manual steering to reduce some of the effort required at low speeds. While the vehicle is so light that manual steering probably wouldn’t be a problem for parking, the steering ratio has to change for manual steering and thus you will need a round steering wheel to do that.

  • Michael Jordan

    Member
    October 11, 2022 at 9:49 am

    I think manual steering has a lot of things going for it.

    In inverse order of importance

    (1) It doesn’t use any battery power. This is supposed to be an energy efficient car.

    (2) It is cheaper.

    (3) It simplifies the design and assembly process. It will be easier to install a manual steering rack and system than a power one. It is easier to design for manual steering than to set up the right amount of power steering.

    (4) It reduces the complexity of the vehicle. This is a small company bringing a new-from-the-ground-up car to market. Lots of things can go wrong. Keeping it simple stupid is a good way to try to make the launch smoother.

    In 2012, I bought a Dodge Dart right after launch. The Dart had all kinds of gee-whiz cool features available. I didn’t buy them. I bought the base model with a manual transmission. I didn’t buy the configurable digital dash, I didn’t buy the touch screen, the rain-sensing wipers, the auto headlights, the in-car wifi, the overboosted Italian turbo engine, or the roboshifted manumatic from FIAT. My only options were A/C and cruise control (OK, I put that on myself after I bought it). The 2013 Dodge Dart base model was the most reliable American car that year (first year,too). The other trim levels of 2013 Dodge Dart were the least reliable American car that year. The recalls on the 2013 Dodge Dart included:

    double-clutch auto (didn’t buy)

    1.4L Abarth turbo engine (didn’t buy)

    reconfigurable gauge cluster (didn’t buy)

    rain-sensing wipers (didn’t buy)

    touch-screen entertainment system (didn’t buy)

    automatic headlights (didn’t buy)

    This really spoiled the Dodge Dart in many people’s minds. My Dart has been wonderful. It is a good-looking midsized economy car that gets fantastic fuel economy (27/38 over 10 years), was pretty inexpensive (My MSRP was $17,200), and has been very reliable. My only recall in 10 years was for a brake-booster that was corroding in northern road-salt environments. If Dodge had only released the stripped down models first while they worked out the kinks in the fancy features, the car might have fared a lot better in the market.

    You don’t want to mess up the launch. Producing a simpler car to start before adding all the gee-whiz doo-dads makes a lot of sense for such a new car. Working out the core components of the car first is important and you won’t work them out until a few thousand are on the road with actual users. Don’t mess up the launch.

    Are there enough people willing to buy the ‘bare-bones’ Aptera for Aptera to make a few thousand of those first to work out the kinks before adding the options? If an off-the shelf manual steering rack can be found along with manual door locks, etc, it could be worth it. Such people are also the most likely to expect to be fixing things as they go wrong on the early cars. I will not have the Aptera as my only car. I expect that early on, things will go wrong and I will be waiting for a part and then waiting for the weekend to fix the car several times. I have another vehicle I will be able to use while waiting. Keepint the car simple at first can make that experience easier. Too many features that could go wrong at once could make this overwhelming even for someone like me. I expect that buying this Aptera may be like buying an Italian exotic with no dealership support; an adventure, but one that is worth it. It might be worth it for Aptera to try to find a few thousand like-minded would-be buyers who are willing to be these beta-testers. For those who think they should just keep testing and testing and testing until everything is perfect, that is how you kill a company becaues you will never get it perfect, you will never find many of the problems until you put it in the hands of actual users.

    • John Voules

      Member
      October 11, 2022 at 3:22 pm

      Manual steering can be engaging. Mind you, most drivers born in the 70s or later may not have ever experienced manual steering. Regardless of APTERA being a relatively light vehicle, many would find it a struggle to turn the wheel while moving slowly or stopped. I tried googling, what vehicles are available with manual steering…the list is nonexistent for US market. So what your saying here is you want APTERA to buck the trend and be a total standout in the market. Power steering is the norm now. I guess you can also argue then that drum brakes are cheaper…who wants them?

      My wife, both our kids, and myself drove manuals. Kids learned on a manual, I drove a manual until I purchased my 1st electric car. My electric car gave me the same engagement as my manual…how?

      Regenerative braking felt similar to downshifting and with instant torque I felt that I am getting the modern version of a manual transmission. All done with mostly 1 pedal driving. Modernization is a good thing for automobiles, yes there is a certain cost for it, some weight and some development dollars. In the end, it would cost even more if you offered both manual and powered steering.

      • Bob Kirchner

        Member
        October 11, 2022 at 7:06 pm

        For what it’s worth, drum brakes are not a bad idea on an EV, at least on rear wheels. Drum brakes can stop just as fast as disks, but are more prone to fade during repeated stops. With regenerative braking taking over most of the deceleration of an EV, the extended use and resulting heat buildup that cause drum brake fade are much less likely to happen. Meanwhile, drum brakes have much less residual drag when not in use than disks, so are more efficient. If Elaphe offered an integrated drum it would be a good choice for the Aptera’s rear wheel.

        • John Voules

          Member
          October 11, 2022 at 7:52 pm

          Thank you for the correction…I just considered disc breaks to be superior on every aspect compared to drums. 😔

  • Vernon Michael Gardner

    Member
    October 11, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    We have started seeing steer by wire and vectored steering. Manual steering is going away. Since the early 2000’s most vehicles have gone to electric power steering. Some vehicles still use hydraulic power steering, but that is few and far between. Very low percentage of people even know what kind of steering they actually have or even want manual steering.

  • Riley …

    Member
    October 12, 2022 at 2:57 am

    I remember back in 2020 that aptera was planning on not having any type of add on power steering assistance as the wheels are independently powered by their in wheel hub motors and can just power one wheel over the other and the car can imitate power steering.

  • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

    Member
    October 19, 2022 at 9:20 am

    manual or hydrallic steering also gives user confidence of where limit of cars grip is, so he can stay at the limit around a turn to avoid breaking to avoid energy loss in energy transfering into and out of battery, vs maintianing the phsycal moving energy in first place. less energy into and out battery means more battery lifetime , less degradation. they say lotus evora hydrallic better than porsche steering , savagese and extra throttle house 2021 evora gt review

  • Russell Fauver

    Member
    October 19, 2022 at 11:05 am

    So what does Chris mean when he’s talking about the steering at 4:55 in this video? Does it mean manual steering at highway speed and power assist at low speed? I don’t quite understand… https://youtu.be/d5cP-SnHNg8

    • Bob Kirchner

      Member
      October 19, 2022 at 12:05 pm

      Yes, that’s what it sounds like, in combination with a fast steering ratio to limit the number of turns lock-to-lock of the yoke, which Jack mentioned.

      • Gabriel Kemeny

        Moderator
        October 19, 2022 at 5:49 pm

        No, it means that the power steering helps more at low speed (when you need it) and less at high speed (when you don’t) – the ratio itself (and the number of lock-to-lock) stays the same.

  • seth feldman

    Member
    October 19, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    I suspect it’s an electronic motor steering assist that changes based on speed. Something I don’t think can be controlled very precisely with hydraulic power steering.

    • Dennis Swaney

      Member
      October 19, 2022 at 8:06 pm

      From a safety standpoint, mechanical steering, be it fully manual or power-assisted, is a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter if the power assist is hydraulic or electric as long as the driver can feel the feedback from the tires and road.

  • Jonah Jorgenson

    Member
    October 19, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    I guess debating the merits of one solution or another is OK as an intellectual pursuit. However the design and engineering (Perhaps supply chain not reconciled yet) is complete and it is what it is and will not change. We merely need to wait for the specs from Aptera to know the answer. They will release that information when ready. Our prodding or speculation will not influence when it is delivered.

  • Eric Alkema

    Member
    October 20, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    As opposed to automatic steering? Everything that I have heard about the steering indicates that it is completely normal power steering, just like on every sports car I have ever owned. (nothing older than the 1980s). Are you saying that you want a low level of boost? I’m with you there.

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