Joystick-controlled cars for drivers with severe disabilities

Joystick-controlled cars for drivers with severe disabilities

Joakim Östlund

This report was commissioned by the Vehicle Standards Division of the Swedish National Road Administration and is included in the project ”Joystick-controlled vehicles for drivers with disabilities”. The aim of the report is to describe and analyse commercially available joystick systems in Sweden. Furthermore, general considerations to be taken in the design of alternative primary levers (for driving) are emphasised.

A small group of people with severe disabilities regain an essential part of their mobility thanks to joystick-operated cars. People currently requiring joystick-operated cars have disabilities resulting in limited mobility and/ or strength in arms and legs.

A joystick includes accelerator, brake pedal and steering wheel in one lever. The analysed joystick systems have a joystick with spring-feedback and do not have the mechanical connection with the steering wheels and brake system. The result is that much information fed back to the driver in a conventional car by means of steering wheel and pedals is lost. Since the joystick is designed as a lever, fastened at one point and with two control directions, lateral and longitudinal controls may interfere. Further shortcomings can be identified for joystick-operated cars but their influence on traffic safety is difficult to decide.

Information and knowledge have been gathered to the knowledge survey through literature studies in the field and contacts with vehicle adapters, driving license instructors and drivers with disabilities.



International Conference on Electric Road Systems starts today

Electric Road Systems (ERS) is a relatively new concept with many initiatives on the way. To learn from each other and stimulate new collaborations the Swedish Research and Innovation Platform for Electric Roads arranged the first international conference...


Same survey of road users’ attitudes in 50 countries

At the Road Safety on Five Continents Conference, RS5C, one entire session presented a large survey of road users' attitudes in 38 countries. Results show large differences between countries in many areas, both regarding behavior and attitudes. A new survey...


Good results with alcohol interlock program according to Swedish study

An alcohol interlock program makes it possible for drink driving offenders to continue their everyday lives. In a Swedish study most of the participants were satisfied with the program and experienced improved health. They also reported drinking alcohol more...


Traffic safety in the spotlight

Today the Conference Road Safety on Five Continents (RS5C) opened in Jeju Island, South Korea. More than 220 participators have come from all over the world to present findings and learn about traffic safety. Dr. Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General of the...


VTI will develop simulators for ambulance staff

VTI has initiated a pilot study for paramedics with the Centre for Teaching & Research in Disaster Medicine and Traumatology and Linköping University. The aim is to give ambulance staff the opportunity to practice critical medical tasks in a moving vehicle in...


Unique electrified road opens in Sweden

The world’s first electrified road recharging the batteries of cars and trucks while driving opened in Sweden. The Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth, was at the formal inauguration of the electrified road on April 11, 2018. VTI is one of 22...