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Bill Cotter

A different angle on a GM concept car

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Did they even intend that the car would be driven? Aren't most concept cars just for entertainment, to make the place look nice?

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Could that the the control console for a automated self-drive concept car ? I recall seeing a video by GM showing a concept car driven by a central traffic control computer. Can't find the video.

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Maybe there was a wee bit of accurate foretelling of the future. That 1964 concept control panel not only has the steering dials but the speedometer too, moving everything off the dashboard.

In recent years more and more things have been moving off the dashboard, onto the steering wheel and hand levers. First it was the intermittent windshield wipers, then cruise control, then bluetooth / hands free phone controls, then satellite radio tuning. And they somehow still found space to embed an airbag in the steering wheel too, without eliminating the horn. LOL

I haven't seen a speedometer in the steering wheel yet, but that's probably next. The last part of eliminating the dashboard instruments is heads-up displays, which are starting to appear on the more expensive makes (that's probably where the speedometer goes). Rear view mirrors are starting to be eliminated, replaced by small digital video screens fed from rear view cameras.

But this '64 GM concept did seem to make eliminating all the dashboard instruments a basic premise- and maybe they had that right in their crystal ball- even if they missed on the dial steering.

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Maybe not by dial or tiller, but aren't many modern cars using "drive by wire" vs. the steering column mechanically turning the wheels? Drive by Wire is when the steering wheel tells a computer how far to turn the wheels, and I think that's becoming more prevalent today.... fulfilling one of the prophesies of this concept car.

Randy, You made me think about how you have to find the "sweet spot" on the steering wheel these days if you want to get your horn to blow! Between the giant logo, the airbag, the radio, cruise and telephone controls, it seems the area that actually makes the horn blow is about 1/2" square. Hard to find in a panic!

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Thanks for the post Randy! That setup really looks uncomfortable and clunky for driving controls (which is why I thought otherwise) so that's probably why it later wound up as the game controllers for 'pong' instead. A joystick for steering would have been better.

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