There have been many attempts to remove the steering wheel from the car and replace it with something “better”, and so far they have all burned down. Now Ferrari is joining the newly forming group of revolutionaries.

Until autonomous driving technology is fully developed to such a level that there is no need to interfere with driving, the steering wheel will remain the main control element. Its round shape has a clear reason, because no one has yet come up with anything better or more intuitive. Yes, we often see concepts with a flat lower edge to provide more legroom, and Peugeots are more rectangular with rounded edges, but the ergonomics are still similar.

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Historically, Saab tried to deviate from the established tradition, which tested the joystick in prototypes of the 9000 model as part of the Prometheus program at the turn of the 80s and 90s. It was a pan-European program to support research into innovations in the automotive industry with the aim of increasing safety. But the result was not accepted. Today, Tesla is trying to do the same with its yoke “rams”, but it doesn’t have much success. Lexus is developing the same concept in conjunction with electronic steering.

Another interested in alternative driving is Ferrari. On May 8, the Italian automaker filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office, according to which it deals with controlling a car using two joysticks. These are mounted on both sides of the seat. From the documents published last Thursday, it follows that this system allows you to control the direction and the “sway” of the car. Both joysticks can be moved in four directions, while the accelerator and brake retain traditional pedals. Alternatively, the buttons on the joysticks can take over their function.

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How serious Ferrari is is unclear. In sports cars, where fast and precise control is needed, this would be a radical change. But if you’ve made a lot of money dredging, you’ll be no stranger to taming a plowshare or a Ferrari.