Steering Wheel or Yoke Turns Lock-to-Lock

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Steering Wheel or Yoke Turns Lock-to-Lock

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Steering Wheel or Yoke Turns Lock-to-Lock

  • Steering Wheel or Yoke Turns Lock-to-Lock

     Dennis Swaney updated 1 month, 3 weeks ago 56 Members · 167 Posts
  • Ray Holan

    Moderator
    October 24, 2021 at 8:05 am

    I know the Aptera suspension is a work in progress and that Roush Engineering is consulting with Aptera on it. Anyone know what is the current or the target turns lock-to-lock figure?

    I’m not a big fan of the yoke design, but if the steering geometry is set up with something like <3 turns lock-to-lock (i.e. “quick” steering ratio) then I think I can live with it. That would mean I won’t have to do the hand over hand maneuver more than once to go from all the way left to all the way right — easy with a circular steering wheel, awkward with a yoke design as has been illustrated in the Aptera videos of the alpha. My worry is that in an emergency (e.g. someone cuts me off or a dog runs out in front of the vehicle) I might get my hands tangled up or miss grabbing one of the uneven surfaces of a yoke type steering wheel.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Member
    October 24, 2021 at 8:11 am

    There is nothing to like about a yoke, there is no reason to even consider it. Tesla’s yoke is particularly bad because they replaced all of the stalks with buttons on the wheel. How do you signal a turn when the wheel is upside down because you are turning? Yokes are for airplanes not cars.

  • Scott

    Member
    October 24, 2021 at 8:43 am

    I agree with the concerns on yokes. It is interesting to read reviews of Tesla yoke steering by Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, etc. All are mostly negative, except that the yoke increases dashboard visibility. However, in the Aptera, there is no dashboard above the steering wheel and it is all off to the right/center of the vehicle. So, it’s one main potential advantage is irrelevant except perhaps some minor field of view enhancement over the lower front nose of the car for shorter drivers.

    However, one significant difference from the Tesla, aircraft, and other true yokes, is that the Aptera steering wheel is not actually a full yoke design. It is more of a “squished circle” to create a rounded rectangular full 360 degree steering wheel. So, you still get most of the benefits of a tried and true round steering wheel, although there is the downside that you have to actively adjust your hand positioning more consciously when doing large turn motions as compared to a round wheel.

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 24, 2021 at 9:13 am

      Scott, I suspect the rounded rectangle as you pointed out is a nod to design. It seems to widen the dashboard visually as opposed to a traditional round steering wheel. Perhaps a circular wheel with a flat bottom would be a reasonable comprise between emergency maneuver usability and aesthetics. The turn signal on stalks or not is another matter. I get that it would look cool to not have stalks, but buttons on the steering wheel to signal turns would take some getting used to and would need to work even if the driver were wearing gloves in the winter.

  • George Hughes

    Member
    October 24, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Previous posters have missed one ‘advantage’ of a yoke steering wheel design and that is the necessity of its replacement with a more practical custom steering wheel from the aftermarket.

    I think this marketing gimmick is part of what drove the choice on the Plaid. See, by putting the yoke steering wheel only in the plaid, those posers with a standard tesla, can gain street cred by putting a yoke on their rig kind of like folks with 283 cu Impalas would badge their two-barreled barge with a gaudy 396 badge.

    • Joshua Rosen

      Member
      October 24, 2021 at 1:03 pm

      Unfortunately it wasn’t just the Plaid that they did this to, the Model S LR and the Model X also got the yoke. The Plaid is a dedicated dragster so you can see why the yoke might be acceptable in that application. But for street use the yoke is a terrible choice, parking becomes a real chore and the lack of stalks for the turn signals are a serious safety hazard. The yoke is also awful for road racing, both Randy Pobst and Blake Fuller yanked them off of their cars and replaced them with Model 3 wheels for the Pikes Peak and Mount Washington hill climbs.

      An aftermarket wheel could fix the problem with the shape of the wheel but do you know if any of them add back the stalks?

      • George Hughes

        Member
        October 24, 2021 at 7:51 pm

        I hope the Aptera retains the traditional circular steering wheel.

        While I respect the ability of the Tesla brand to influence style; I know that the notion of following them on this style is a forced choice. You can see that being Tesla’s effort on the steering yoke being made standard on the most upscale of their offerings. At least a part of that was to counter tradition to stand out. Challenging the established approach is like a lot of what Tesla is about, but don’t count me among those who think that Tesla is always right.

        I do understand the ‘right to repair’ principle, which includes the right to improve, seriously and so if I find an equally doltish choice of a yoke over a proper steering wheel on the Aptera, I’ll change it.

        The challenge with right to repair on the new generation(s) of cars going forward is they’re digital instruments that define operations with code instead of the traditional construct of mechanical operations.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    October 24, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Over sensitivity here I think. I have flown airplanes of all kinds with yokes without any problem. Oh, apples and oranges you say. Yep right.

    But if we had all started driving cars with yokes from the beginning, and some nut put a wheel in a care for steering, and tried to sell it to us, we would be up in arms.

    The Aptera will come with a yokish wheel. If it is show stopper you can either not buy it, replace the yoke with a wheel (Yuck), or learn to drive with the yoke. I have no problem with the latter choice.

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 25, 2021 at 5:46 am

      I respectfully disagree with you on this one, John.

      To me, the yoke steering wheel question is not merely a question of style, or what we’ve gotten used to, but usability — especially in an emergency maneuver.

      Does the yoke look good in the Aptera? Yes.

      Is it usable in ordinary driving? Yes.

      It’s the kind of emergency maneuver that calls for hand-over-hand that concerns me and the possibility of my hand missing the surface of the yoke as the “target” surface changes in rotation. Flying a Cessna 172 is one thing. Driving a car on city streets another. I live in a neighborhood with many children who tend to chase their soccer balls or what-not’s into the street without checking for oncoming traffic so this is on my radar.

      The yoke or steering wheel choice harks back to the question of “how many turns lock-to-lock” in my original post. If the steering ratio is quick, a quarter or half turn of the wheel or yoke gets me out of trouble (no hand-over-hand motion needed). If the ratio is slow, more turning is required for the same amount of course change. My Lotus Elan set the benchmark for quick steering.

      I would welcome a reference to a scientific study or SAE paper evaluating traditional steering wheel vs. yoke in situations that require a quick course change. I realize that the majority of “think fast” situations can be handled without taking my hands off the wheel or off the yoke even if the steering ratio slow (i.e. larger number of turns lock-to-lock). Again, my concern is the hand-over-hand situation when I need to do that. I realize this is only a once in a great while situation, but it is still a concern for me. Scientific or subjective thoughts on that?

      • John Malcom

        Member
        October 26, 2021 at 9:35 am

        Ray, probably way too early for objective studies to be available to address the issue so only our subjective views without driving experience with yoke or yoke like steering interfaces. So any view is unsubstantiated supposition to include mine. Perhaps in the next few years data may be available from the Tesla yoke experience to indicate statistically if it is a safety issue.

        I will repeat my thoughts in my last post. If your concern about the safety of the Aptera steering interface is high don’t buy it, replace it with something else, or learn to drive confidently with it. A solution that does not require a lot of analytical data. Assuming you will test drive before you actually purchase you will know if the “Feel” will be OK at that point.

        Oh just thought of another one from my childhood. Buy and install a squirrel knob. I guess called spinning knobs now days.

        Yokes in Teslas hasn’t seemed to slow their sales, but we will see in a few years when there is or is not data.

        • Ray Holan

          Moderator
          October 26, 2021 at 1:33 pm

          We called the “squirrel knob” a “suicide knob” in my part of the country . Not sure how that got started!

          In the absence of objective studies I’ll probably roll the dice as you suggest and trust I’ll get used to the rounded rectangle shape of the steering wheel that we’ve seen on the prototypes thus far. As you say, I can always replace with something else if really necessary.

          • Scott

            Member
            October 26, 2021 at 5:56 pm

            Ray, keep in mind that the specific mechanical interface, horn, and controls embedded in the current design’s cross-member mean that it would be unlikely to easily just plug and play any ol’ round steering wheel from somewhere else. ???? Far more likely that you will need to get accustomed to the steering wheel shape, unless Aptera offers an add-on option later or both demand plus volume becomes big enough for an aftermarket supplier to later get interested in creating a specialized solution.

            • Ray Holan

              Moderator
              October 30, 2021 at 5:41 am

              Point taken, Scott. I am planning to adjust to whatever OEM steering wheel is installed. I have a long history or substituting components that weren’t offered by the factory in cars I’ve owned — with uneven results. Not inclined to yank out theirs to put in mine. That said, I totally support the right-to-repair philosophy to which Aptera is committed. We have a long history of hot-rodding cars in this country. Ironically, Southern California is ground zero for that. SoCal Speed Shop anyone?

      • John Malcom

        Member
        October 26, 2021 at 9:57 am

        Here is something to consider. I am left handed. I am more of a safety risk on the road than the shape of the steering interface.

        https://carfromjapan.com/article/driving-tips/are-left-handed-drivers-more-of-a-danger-on-the-road/

    • George Hughes

      Member
      October 25, 2021 at 10:50 pm

      It is not sensitivity; and it is not even ‘yoke’ vs ‘circular wheel’ vs. yoke like. (The steering wheel on the Alpha’s appears yoke-like but remains a full ‘wheel.’ )

      Tooling around on the highway or along most any extended straight-away, I have been known to plop my right hand at 12-oclock and my left, out the window. In the old days, I had a butt in the left-hand but even today, I’ve been known to vape or even drink with either the 12’oclock or 6’oclock position with either my left or right hand.

      You can call me unwoke or whatever – don’t care. What I do know is that by removing the top and bottom of the steering wheel as in a pure yoke limits one-arm driving to a maximum of two positions – either 3’oclock or 9’oclock whereas a full steering wheel gives one the option of six positions for one-armed driving.

      If you think the yoke is the be-all/end-all, let me suggest that the yoke be an aftermarket option as you are welcome to limit your hand positions to only 3 and 9 o’clock.

      PS: The ‘yoke-like’ wheel, that does span the top and bottom is basically fine. Hell, the ’57 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser my dad had back in the day had a flattened top reminiscent of a yoke as the design style of that age was tail-fins and jet-like designs to elicit ‘modern aerospace’ details. I know my dad would have preferred the factory air work better without freezing up, though.

      • Ray Holan

        Moderator
        October 26, 2021 at 5:13 am

        George, you’re right to point out the hand position limitation or freedom provided by the steering wheel, yoke-like wheel, or yoke. Thanks for the clarification of “yoke like” vs. “yoke”.

    • JEANNA Duryee

      Member
      August 27, 2022 at 2:57 pm

      I agree with John. I feel people are being overly dramatic, “parking becomes a real chore.” Its only going to be a little bit different, a small percentage of the time. People adjust. I feel its a tempest in a tea pot.

      Some people like Aptera because they AREN”T TESLA. So if they do anything that looks parallel to a Tesla choice they get chaffed. They can hang onto any previous Tesla FUD they have heard about the same choice. But they aren’t Tesla. They aren’t trying to be Tesla. They are doing their own thing. The Yoke is more yokish, than a true Yoke, but the similarity to a choice that Tesla made is too much for some.

      Here I am having an opinion before trying it out.

      If, when I get my Aptera, I find the yokish steering mechanism difficult to use; I will replace it. If people feel strongly enough they don’t like it, put in another wheel, or don’t buy it. If people feel strongly enough they don’t like it, put in another wheel, or don’t buy it.

  • John Trotter

    Moderator
    October 25, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Ray, good question for discussion, but are there really two questions here that have become conflated? Yoke-vs-wheel will dominate any related discussion, but I am interested in learning about lock-to-lock, no matter the “hand interface”. It seems to me that drive-by-wire and torque vectoring could implement steering in a way completely unlike tradition. (ex: speed dependent lock-to-lock) Should it? Unfortunately, Aptera is too small to do proper research, unless someone can find public domain info. BTW, with a clean sheet of paper, and power steering, how is lock-to-lock chosen? Ideas?

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 25, 2021 at 9:05 am

      Good point, John. Yes, the two questions have become intertwined. Guess that often happens with forum discussions. Hard to stay on one question.

  • David B Beal

    Member
    October 26, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Excellent question. I don’t think the semi-yoke would bother me if it’s an active steering system. It’ll take a little getting used to but I think driving this vehicle in general might take a little getting used to. I anticipate enjoying that learning experience.

  • Llewellyn Evans

    Member
    October 26, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    I did a google search for F1 steering wheel shapes. All the old ones were round, all the new ones are yokes with paddles on the back and buttons on the front.

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      October 27, 2021 at 6:31 am

      Wonder how many turns lock-to-lock Lewis Hamilton has to contend with? Hmm.

    • Llewellyn Evans

      Member
      October 29, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      Looks like over 360 degrees. Arms fully crossed at full lock.

  • John Trotter

    Moderator
    October 29, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Toyota just announced a future BEV with Yoke steering as an option. That option would have 150 degrees lock-to-lock to avoid the hand-over-hand maneuver.

  • Pistonboy Delux

    Member
    October 29, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    The steering column, stalk controls, and dash all appear to come from Tesla which own the patents on these designs. I suspect the steering wheel design was part of a package deal if Aptera wanted to use them.

    I would like to hear if there will be an air bag in the steering wheel. Does anyone remember the talk of having the air bag in the seat belt and not the steering wheel?

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      October 29, 2021 at 6:45 pm

      Until they actually publicly state in of be more inclined to think the wheel is just sharing similar design elements. Other vehicles use similar display setups. Not sure about the control wheels. Tesla has stated their patents would be open. An agreement to share the plug /charge network has been hinted heavily but is also unconfirmed.

      • Pistonboy Delux

        Member
        October 29, 2021 at 8:11 pm

        You said something interesting. You mentioned Tesla stating their patents would be open. This is true. I believe Tesla’s requirement is that other companies must also share their patents. Since Aptera is a startup with no patents, they may have entered into this agreement. They have a lot to gain and nothing to loose. Existing car companies have many patents and would not want others to use them.

        Wow. If all these things are correct, Aptera would have a lot to gain!

        • Curtis Cibinel

          Member
          October 29, 2021 at 9:41 pm

          No idea if that is Aptera’s intent. The co-ceos did need the original ip to restart Aptera so they would be giving up some important ip. This unfortunately highlights flaws in copyright that allows for patents to bury tech not being used.

          The unfortunate reality is that if Aptera is successful they will never manage to enter the Chinese market as plenty of time for impersonators before they can import into that market (scaling takes time) .

  • Charles Kaneb

    Member
    October 29, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Aptera, if you’re looking – I’ve taught several engineering students how to develop steering systems and I think I’ve got a good idea of what would work well for manual or power-assisted steering on this car.

    I recommend a round steering wheel. It allows a variety of driving positions.

  • Elzo Stubbe

    Member
    March 27, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    If the yoke is final design, then turning no more than 90 degrees in either direction would be awesome to achieve full steering. if technically possible. I saw a guy who replaced his round steering wheel with a yoke in a Tesla model 3 and the steering was really horrible:

    https://youtu.be/rAdGzXboGNM

    • John Malcom

      Member
      March 27, 2022 at 6:12 pm

      A good video with both plusses and minuses. for a new yoke driver.

    • V Pilot

      Member
      March 27, 2022 at 7:47 pm

      I don’t want it. Round on top and yolk on bottom would be a compromise that would work

      • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  V Pilot.
    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      March 28, 2022 at 10:24 am

      White… Why… Just why. PS: Great video.

      • Jonah Jorgenson

        Member
        March 28, 2022 at 3:35 pm

        Ha! To represent the purity of an Aptera????

  • Leonard Diasio

    Member
    March 27, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    Mr. Holan, what year was your Lotus Elan? I had a 69 S4 SE. Gosh I wish I still had that car. It was a blast. It was a good primer for owning an Aptera. Everywhere I went people asked what it was and who made it. This was before the Miata came out. (early ’80s)

    I’ve already started practicing driving with a yoke by keeping my hands at the bottom of the wheel. It is a bit awkward, but it grows more comfortable as you do it. (I have a Nissan Altima) The only good thing I’ve noticed is that I can almost make a turn with one good rotation of the wheel, but by habit I keep grabbing the top of the wheel. ….Oh well, that’s why I’m practicing.

    • Ray Holan

      Moderator
      March 28, 2022 at 5:46 am

      Hi, Leonard. My Elan was a ’71 Plus 2. British racing green of course. Is there any other color for a British sports car?

  • Gordon Niessen

    Member
    March 28, 2022 at 7:07 am

    I am looking forward to the Yoke. It is a progressive, innovative car and I welcome changes to many of the old standards for automobiles. Why get stuck on something, just because everyone else is doing it.

  • Eric Quinn

    Member
    March 28, 2022 at 8:11 am

    I was kind of hoping in our state of the art solar advanced vehicle,

    that the steering was going to be more automated, smoother, fly by wire type

    You turn the yoke, it sends signal to servo motors that do the work on steering rods.

    I guess that would add unnecessary weight and cost

    And I’m hoping they designed it so the turning radius is very sharp.

    Anyone hear about the turning radius?

  • Thomas Bushaw

    Member
    March 31, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Here is autoevolution.com‘s take on Aptera’s decision to go with a yoke… https://www.autoevolution.com/news/aptera-will-have-steering-yoke-just-like-the-tesla-model-s-and-model-x-plaid-185326.html

    Not too much new here beyond what’s in Aptera’s March 2022 video update although the author does speculate on the rationale. The article does start with a nice intro: “Aptera has a really nice approach toward being transparent with customers and fans. The company makes regular update videos, and they always reveal interesting aspects of the electric trike. In the March update, Jason Hill shared that Aptera will adopt a half wheel, which people also call a steering yoke.” However, refering to it as an “electric trike” just doesn’t seem quite right, even though it may be literally correct.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      March 31, 2022 at 10:21 am

      Thanks for finding this and making it available to us. I don’t think Aptera has revealed all of the reason for the yoke yet.

    • Gabriel Kemeny

      Moderator
      March 31, 2022 at 1:34 pm

      If true, this comment in the article would be news:

      “That is another visible Tesla influence on the Aptera, which also uses the same charging cable as Tesla vehicles.”

    • IA -1

      Member
      March 31, 2022 at 1:43 pm

      First paragraph from the article about the yoke:

      “Yes, you have already seen them in the Tesla Model S and Model X Plaid. You have also heard how badly the idea was implemented in these cars, keeping the same number of lock-to-lock turns and making these cars very difficult to drive more aggressively. Whether you like it or not, that is what the Aptera will get.”

      • Ray Holan

        Moderator
        March 31, 2022 at 2:00 pm

        Once more for the record, I’m not a fan of the yoke for these reasons:

        1) My concern about emergency maneuvers resulting in my hand missing the surface

        2) The limited hand positions that a yoke restricts me to use (i.e. 9 and 3)

        I remain optimistic that when I actually drive a yoke-equipped Aptera, I will find it comfortable in normal driving situations. Be assured that my yoke-hesitation is not simply because it’s new and thus unfamiliar to me, it’s due to the two reasons listed above.

      • Jonah Jorgenson

        Member
        March 31, 2022 at 3:09 pm

        A lot of unsupported opinion here.

        You are correct, those that purchase the first iteration of the Aptera will get yokes for steering devices. That was made clear in the March update.

        Tesla did not implement the yoke poorly:

        1) The actual response from Tesla drivers (Both those that drive Teslas with a yoke and those that drive Teslas with wheels) according to their user survey, is 70+/- percent either like the yoke, don’t dislike the yoke, or are indifferent to the yoke as a driving device.

        2) If the device was so offensive, Tesla would not be the best selling EV in the world and you would not have a long wait for a production vehicle. Even if they don’t like a yoke steering device, they accept it as the other features of Teslas far out weigh the yoke device.

        Driving safety:

        1) The Tesla yoke has been in drivers hands for more than a year. There are no government safety cases reported, open, or being investigated for Tesla yoke safety impacts. That is “0” in a year for a new steering device.

        2) many of my family to include myself drive Teslas. I drive a Model 3 with a wheel. My uncle drives a Model S Plaid with a yoke. I drove it on a weekend day and had no issue getting use to driving it.

        3) Thee is only personal opinion in the form of anecdotal statements that there is a safety issue with yoke steering

        Charging Standard:

        1) With regard to the charging cable issue. Aptera has said that they will support the CCS charging standard. Tesla does not support that standard in the US. So a standard Tesla cable would not work for an Aptera trying to connect to a CCS charger. Tesla supports their own proprietary protocol used for their exclusive charging network.

        On another issue, in a previous post you indicated that you found a car you liked and that you would not make any more negative posts on the subject of steering devices on the Aptera forum. This is the second one I have seen from you since you made that statement. Please honor your commitment. If you want to stay on the Aptera forum for what ever reason, either don’t post or if you post, honor your commitment not to negatively post about the yoke device. You are kind of out of the Aptera game with your new car.

        All of the above my personal opinion.

        • IA -1

          Member
          March 31, 2022 at 6:07 pm

          Jonah, I’ve changed my mind, I will post about the yoke and express my personal opinion as anyone else on this forum. I do have a new car and I’m willing to trade it for Aptera, but I will make my final decision when I see and test the production vehicle.

          These are actual quotes from Tesla yoke users:

          “Backing out of my driveway, my hands slipped off the wheel multiple times, which was startling”

          “Taking turns at higher speed, when the wheel is providing more significant resistance in your hand, there’s nothing to ‘catch’ if you lose your grip, so you can end up momentarily losing control mid-turn”

          “As you rotate a round steering wheel you always know what to expect, even when you aren’t looking. With a yoke, you might get a corner, a flat side, or nothing at all.”

          “Instead of applying the consistent torque that’s necessary to turn a steering wheel, the odd-shaped yoke requires the driver to exert various different degrees of push and pull forces, which can cause the car to lurch instead of steering smoothly.”

          “One of the biggest drawbacks is that there’s no top rim for the wheel, which you might instinctively grab at even if it’s not there.”

          “The yoke, combined with the touchscreen shifter makes it hard to make multi-point turns and parallel park. The steering ratio isn’t quick enough to make low-speed maneuvers, which can be incredibly frustrating and inconvenient.”

          “Electrek said that the yoke is better suited for weekend cars and race cars. The time that it takes an average driver to get used to the shape and size of the yoke could lead to a higher risk of accidents.”

          “Placed an order for Model X (drive one now)… I am seriously considering canceling due to the yoke… I’m baffled by Tesla not offering this as an option.”

          I love Tesla! I own a Tesla S. I have ordered the new one I DO NOT WANT THE YOKE, I will probably remove my reservation before september if this doesnt change.”

          • Jonah Jorgenson

            Member
            April 1, 2022 at 4:53 pm

            IA -1, of course you have a right to express a personal opinion.

            A rational approach for all whether they support a yoke or like the minority oppose it. The only true test is to drive Aptera’s implementation before making a statement. Probably important to do good research on yoke engineering variations and track the safety record with the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Data Base rather than quoting a few carefully selected anecdotal statements.

          • Elzo Stubbe

            Member
            April 2, 2022 at 5:45 am

            If I may: You will be surprised how easy it is to replace the steering wheel, even with a airbag in the steering wheel, it is a piece of cake. This little operation takes no more than two minutes…

  • Vernon Michael Gardner

    Member
    March 31, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    Yoke, they could use a progressive approach so you can make small adjustments at a time. If the steering is fly by wire then the programming would be easier. I would like to see a fixed movement so that the wheels match the position of the steering and not like a joystick on/off motion. So if the steering is 160 degrees off center left or right would be lock to lock on the front steering. Actually this could be done on any electrical steering whether connected to a shaft or fly by wire.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      April 1, 2022 at 5:07 pm

      Yes! A couple of design alternatives as you have pointed out. The Aptera engineers are very creative and I think will implement a less complex solution that will be efficient, cost effective, and when experienced in a test drive, will delight Aptera fans. Just my opinion.

  • Jeff

    Member
    March 31, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    I could overlook the blatant copying of Tesla‘s interior design and UI when it didn’t include the yoke steering “wheel”. But now that they’ve copied that too, I’m about ready to tap out. The odds that I follow through on my reservation and buy an Aptera now just dropped significantly.

  • Tim Dean

    Member
    April 1, 2022 at 8:19 am

    Munro Live – Tesla Yoke Deep Dive

    https://youtu.be/Z8vd18kmoFg

    (Speaking of Yokes, users adapt & fall in love with them very quickly.)

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  Tim Dean.

    • Elzo Stubbe

      Member
      April 1, 2022 at 9:24 am

      look at minute 22 and see the munro guys quote Elon Musk remarks how the Yolk will work perfectly. Exactly what I said earlier in this post….

      • Jonah Jorgenson

        Member
        April 1, 2022 at 4:25 pm

        Thanks for running this down and posting it for us. Munro’s crew does a good job of breaking down vehicles/components and objectively reporting their “Expert” results. Good to see an engineering perspective from them on EV steering devices. Especially good to see them address the cost and simplification tradeoff for component design.

        A lot of different engineering approaches to steering devices. I am anxious to see the whole story on the approach taken by Aptera. It is not as simple or superficial as either “Wheel” or “Yoke”. There is much underlying design variability available for implementation.

  • Chris Stephens

    Member
    April 1, 2022 at 11:10 am

    The Yolk wheel is a terrible idea.

    I have experience with Yolk style wheels as both a race car driver and a pilot. Unless full lock is less than 180 degrees in either direction, it just doesn’t make sense. For airplanes and Formula cars with very fast steering racks, yes a yolk style wheel works OK.

    I have driven race cars, usually sports car where someone has installed a yolk or D style wheel and if the rack isn’t fast enough it just makes life hard if you ever end up in a situation when you need to do large inputs.

    The yolk is a gimmick and I hope that the Aptera engineers and designers quit wasting time on it.

    • Lou Verner

      Member
      April 1, 2022 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you Chris for your much valued first-hand experience (pun intended) with yolk steering wheels. Still waiting for Aptera owners/engineers/designers to provide us with their rationale and more importantly video proof that demonstrates their yolk performs as well as if not better than standard and is furthermore pleasurable to use. After all, a driver’s main contact with his vehicle is the wheel!

      • Lou Verner

        Member
        April 1, 2022 at 12:14 pm

        Sorry, just caught faux pas…should have said “driver’s main contact with THEIR vehicle…”. Y-chromosome fails again.

      • Chris Stephens

        Member
        April 1, 2022 at 1:09 pm

        I can further say that if you are just normal highway driving, then a yolk seems OK. Maybe this sort of reasoning is what is lulling the engineers into thinking this is a good idea.

        If you need to take emergency corrective action that requires more input then say 160 degrees or so then it becomes a huge mess. It’s extremely difficult to shuffle steer a yolk in that type of situation. In the race car this happens periodically, especially so in the rain.

        It would also be detrimental in the parking lots or any other low speed handling that requires large inputs.

        I just don’t see a worthwhile gain to the design. You are taking a big loss in both emergency and low speed handling for a very minimal aesthetic gain.

        I also don’t think Aptera want to have an incredibly fast steering rack like on a formula car, where 180 degrees is full lock. That would create a very twitchy handling from small steering inputs that drivers aren’t used to. You can try to work around this with some progressive or variable rack, where the rack speeds up at higher inputs. The problem with this design is that it makes things a bit vague for the driver, since the input isn’t linear and you are creating a massive engineering problem and adding complexity.

        Aptera should just put a circle wheel in the car and move on. There are lots of other real and better problems to find solutions for in the vehicle.

        • Jonah Jorgenson

          Member
          April 1, 2022 at 4:12 pm

          Aptera has said “Yoke” perhaps we should all move on

          • Elzo Stubbe

            Member
            April 2, 2022 at 5:40 am

            If it will be as easy replaceable as the Tesla model 3 then it will be the same as with mirrors/ camera’s. Everybody will have the liberty to choose, remove…or replace within a rediculous short amount of time…

            Freedom for all!

    • Tim Dean

      Member
      April 1, 2022 at 1:08 pm

      Watch the Munro Live video. 21:08 talks about a Variable Gain Steer-by-Wire system which removes all the cost, complexity & weight of the steering column and allows for slow speed maneuvering without spinning the steering wheel.

      Since simplicity & light-weighting are key Aptera goals and Munro is helping in the design…

      • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  Tim Dean.
      • Chris Stephens

        Member
        April 1, 2022 at 1:17 pm

        I haven’t seen the video. I mention a variable rack in my most recent reply to Lou.

        I can tell you that there is no possible way that a variable rack is more simple then using a round steering wheel and a linear rack.

        There are lots of compromises to using a variable rack. Do Aptera really plan to go fully fly by wire where the wheel isn’t actually connected to anything but a computer? Even if they go this route, I would argue that a linear rack and round wheel are still superior.

        There are so many problems to solve and effort needed to get this car into production. I don’t understand wasting engineering resources on this.

    • IA -1

      Member
      April 1, 2022 at 1:52 pm

      Chris, not only the yoke does not belong in a street car, but it should be banned for safety reasons. The yoke makes sense only for SOME race cars, not for all of them, and there is plenty of evidence for that. NASCAR, Rally Cars, GT Race Cars etc. have a round steering wheel and there is a reason for that.

      • Chris Stephens

        Member
        April 1, 2022 at 1:56 pm

        Agreed. It’s fine for Formula cars and Airplanes, but not much else.

      • V Pilot

        Member
        April 1, 2022 at 2:42 pm

        Yeah, I’m an elbows on the armrests 12:00 or 7:30 left hand on the wheel driver with the seat back near vertical…I broke 3 vertebrae in my lower back and can’t slouch. I’d like to have at least the ability to purchase a round wheel that would fit on my own. The vehicle is only efficient if people buy it and drive it

      • Jonah Jorgenson

        Member
        April 1, 2022 at 4:43 pm

        Once again you are misrepresenting yoke safety and expressing only your personal opinion and ignoring the facts.

        I will repeat again, those facts. There is no, 0, nada, data that indicates any safety issues in more that a year of yokes as driving devices in Teslas under all driving conditions. That is no data or files requesting investigation, no cases opened, in the NHTSA public records or any other credible data source.

        You are certainly entitled to your opinion and to express it on the forum even if it does not align with the factual data.

        Chris, you may want to note this post as well.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      Member
      April 1, 2022 at 4:32 pm

      Think about this for a moment. You have no idea what the complete implementation of the yoke steering system is in the Aptera, yet you claim that your experience as a pilot and race car driver with yokes says it will be a terrible idea. hmmmmm without driving the Aptera with a yoke…….

      I am a pilot too and have driven a Tesla yoke. Me and 70%+ of Tesla drivers have no problems with a yoke.

      So, maybe not a terrible idea.

      • IA -1

        Member
        April 1, 2022 at 6:37 pm

        Jonah, no matter what the complete implementation is, can you please explain why and how a half steering wheel is better than a full steering wheel? I haven’t seen anyone mentioning any benefits about having a yoke, except having a clear view of the screen, which is not a real benefit.

        I see a lot of people are saying that they are willing to try and live with the yoke if they have to, but I don’t see any people that are requesting the yoke because it offers benefits over the standard steering wheel.

        Why is the yoke better for driving than the standard steering wheel?

        • Jonah Jorgenson

          Member
          April 1, 2022 at 7:15 pm

          If it works as well, better, or even a little worse than a wheel and is cheaper and easier to implement (This we don’t know with the information we have right now) and drivers can quickly adapt then it is better. Also it gives a better view of the side camera screen than a wheel (Maybe). We really don’t know any of this information factually right now so have to wait and reserve judgement until we understand the engineering and have a chance to try it, your rational and wise suggestion that both sides of the argument should honor.

          What is off the table all together is that it is a safety hazard. That only exists in the minds of those that don’t like the yoke. There is absolutely no reliable data to support that assumption.

          • IA -1

            Member
            April 2, 2022 at 4:40 am

            Jonah, you didn’t really answer the question:

            Why is the yoke better for driving than the standard steering wheel?

            • Jonah Jorgenson

              Member
              April 2, 2022 at 6:16 pm

              Yes I did, you just fail to recognize anything that does not support your argument.

            • IA -1

              Member
              April 3, 2022 at 5:41 am

              Jonah, no you didn’t. And I haven’t seen anyone on the forum answer that question.

              The only “advantage” that was mentioned by you is having a better view of the camera screen, but that’s not really an advantage, it’s an excuse for a poor design. Is there anything else except this?

              Why is the yoke better for driving than the standard steering wheel?

          • Jack Frost

            Member
            August 28, 2022 at 5:18 pm

            Jonah, of the 276 million registered vehicles in the US, how many drive with a Yoke? I don’t think a fair assessment could me made just yet on it’s safety. But let’s not wait for x number of fatalities.

        • V Pilot

          Member
          April 1, 2022 at 8:05 pm

          Tesla may be walking back a bit on the yoke

          https://electrek.co/2022/02/24/tesla-cracking-yoke-steering-wheel-offer-option-regular-round-wheel/

          Just google “is wheel or yoke better” and start reading

          • Tim Dean

            Member
            April 2, 2022 at 1:03 pm

            If Aptera reverses course and decides to go with a traditional round steering wheel instead of a yoke… it should be round.

            Do or do not, there is no “try”.

            • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  Tim Dean.
            • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  Tim Dean.
        • V Pilot

          Member
          April 1, 2022 at 8:30 pm

          This company may be able to offer a solution. They claim to be the first Tesla tuner, offering upgrades and options.

          https://www.motortrend.com/news/t-sportline-360-yoke-tesla-model-s-plaid-steering-wheel/

          • Jack Frost

            Member
            August 28, 2022 at 8:12 pm

            I reached out to these guys a few days ago… They’ve no plans on making one. Looking for an aftermarket 2-button wheel with a center horn is proving quite difficult. Even without specific specs.

      • Chris Stephens

        Member
        April 3, 2022 at 8:13 am

        Jonah,

        The yolk is a problem in emergency situation. Did you ever need to make an emergency maneuver or counter steer into a skid while driving the Tesla? You keep bringing up the Tesla numbers. If 30% of the people don’t like the yolk, that seems bad to me. I bet nearly 100% of the Tesla drivers would be fine with a wheel … instead they have annoyed nearly 1/3 of their buyers.

        • David Marlow

          Member
          September 27, 2022 at 11:29 pm

          Your bet is lost, I know of Tesla owners who have upgraded from the wheel to the yoke and are very happy with it..

  • Nathan Hubbard

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    Speaking of the yoke… I was just looking over autocycle laws in various states. A lot of them say that an autocycle has to have a steering wheel. I assume to differentiate them from a motorcycle.

    Would the half wheel yoke thing Aptera is showing be considered a “steering wheel”?

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      April 2, 2022 at 5:33 pm

      As opposed to handlebars, one would assume.

  • Chris Stephens

    Member
    April 3, 2022 at 8:20 am

    Here is what I propose.

    The Aptera employees should go to a race track or skid pad and then wet the track or skid pad and test counter steering and emergency quick turn maneuvers around cones with both a wheel and a yolk.

    A car with a quick release wheel would be ideal. You can swap in a round wheel and a yolk and test them back to back. Bonus points for doing this in an Aptera, but any non-formula car would be fine.

    • Gary Greenway

      Member
      April 3, 2022 at 10:57 am

      Excellent idea!

    • Leonard Diasio

      Member
      April 3, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      I also agree with this idea. Aptera developers should physically test both wheels back-to-back. Furthermore, to be an honest evaluation, they should use a yoke exactly like the one they plan on using in the finished vehicle.

    • LoveAptera YokeDealbreaker

      Member
      August 29, 2022 at 2:05 pm

      This is the best and most constructive comment ever wrote about a yoke. A yoke is great? Prove it, record yourself maneuvering this situation and post it on YouTube, you’ll get billions of views.

      I’ve driven a Tesla Plaid with a yoke, it’s a total failure, and the removal of stalks makes it even worse.

  • Thomas Bushaw

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 10:48 am

    The Electric Viking has piped in on his impression of Aptera’s decision to go with the yoke with a new video he posted this morning (https://youtu.be/gH_7f3KUmDo). The video is dedicated to the Aptera but he covers more than just the yoke “controversy.” Spoiler alert: He seems to be okay with it but is a bit puzzled by the decision.

    • Nathan Hubbard

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 12:03 pm

      Ok with it, but puzzled by the decision. Yeah, me too.

      Why do something so polarizing to an already polarizing vehicle?

      I assume that they figure they’ll still get all the sales they need.

      • Graham Smith

        Member
        April 4, 2022 at 6:21 pm

        I agree with Nathan, and as an investor (and environmentalist) I don’t think it is wise to add sales inhibitors that have nothing to do with efficiency.

        Best case I would suggest Aptera makes the yoke an option for those who want to be too cool for school.

        • This reply was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by  Graham Smith.
        • This reply was modified 7 months, 4 weeks ago by  Graham Smith.
        • Jonah Jorgenson

          Member
          April 5, 2022 at 12:23 pm

          I don’t think Aptera engineering does that. Their main focus is “The most efficient ground transportation” The components they select have some contribution to make toward efficiency to include cost and manufacturing efficiency.

          Until the production ready vehicle is available with crash test results, full specs, performance testing results, test drives taken or owner reviews published, we can only speculate on the choices Aptera has made.

          Normally, potential customers do not have any visibility into the engineering and aesthetic architecture of a vehicle during the development phase and only see the end product when publicly displayed at release. The customer takes what the manufacturer offers them or they bypass the purchase.

        • LoveAptera YokeDealbreaker

          Member
          August 29, 2022 at 2:02 pm

          I also agree, and with the sales inhibition of forcing a yoke, I have canceled my Aptera order and will not be investing in the company. When Tesla forced a yoke in the Plaid, I too canceled my order of the Plaid, and sold my TSLA stock to avoid getting caught in the upcoming crash. All other auto makers are catching up to Tesla, and soon Tesla will be nothing in the wind. Thank you Tesla, for giving auto makers a much needed push, but with the yoke and terrible service you have now self-destructed into extinction.

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      Overall the comments stayed fairly positive. He seems less convinced Aptera will ship with the specs and price as intended. It is relatively simple to sell a piece that bolts on and provides the upper part of the wheel – hopefully from Aptera and shouldn’t need to be that expensive. This obviously makes the display behind the wheel less visible so software can switch the rearview displays to the center display.

      Note: Given inflation and cost increases I would not be surprised to see price changes but hopefully they can honor reservations or split the difference (less increase for current reservation holders).

    • IA -1

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 1:49 pm

      Quote: “A lot of people are agreeing with this dude.”

      Also another comment from a Tesla owner.

  • David Marlow

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    The Aptea yoke is like a happy face smiling at you, reminding you how much fun it is to drive and how much it likes you driving it!

  • Sam Adams

    Member
    July 9, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    Keeping both hands on the wheel at all times using the push and pull method (shuffle steering) would be impossible with a yoke…

    https://m.driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/how-to-hold-a-steering-wheel/#stepnum3https://m.driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/how-to-hold-a-steering-wheel/#stepnum3

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Sam Adams.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Sam Adams.
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