Figuring out how to properly drive a manual requires finesses, but most of all patience, and one junior engineer at Ford is trying to make it a little easier.
Zach Nelson has designed a vibrating shift knob that provides feedback when it is time to shift. The knob is hooked up to an iPad, which puts Ford’s open source OpenXC software to use, feeding the device with all sorts of real time data. Using the RPMs, the knob can be programmed to vibrate at whatever point is optimal for shifting.
“The vibrating knob can be installed onto the stock shift lever, and I’ve tested it on several vehicles including Mustang and Focus ST,” Nelson said. “I decided to have a little fun with it and installed an LED display on top that shows the gear position.”
This shows Ford’s open source software is being put to use in interesting ways, and has the potential for many more applications.
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