Ford develop vibrating gearstick for learner drivers



Ford dealership locations around the UK and the world have long been benefiting from the visionary expertise of the company's engineers based back at their headquarters in the US state of Michigan, and their team are currently in the process of integrating yet another ingenious innovation into their range of vehicles.


The latest groundbreaking project to have been unveiled by Ford is a vibrating gearstick which has been developed with the needs of learner drivers in mind, as well as those who are looking to make the change from automatic to manual transmission cars.

A truly impressive invention, the device was constructed by a junior engineer at Ford, Zach Nelson, who describes the process he went through for designing the special gearstick in this YouTube video. The shift knob is made up of surprisingly simple components – the vibration, which lets the driver know when they should change gear, is triggered by the rumble motor of an Xbox 360 controller.  

A Thing-O-Matic 3D printer was also vital in building the gearstick; this is not the first time that the huge potential of 3D printing has been unlocked by Ford, serving as an example of how the manufacturers are always keen to make use of the most recent and effective technology.

Many manual transmission novices are likely to be grateful for Nelson's vision in years to come, with the gearstick sure to make learning much easier in future. As the engineer explains: 'the idea is that drivers no longer need to look down at a light or indicator on the dash, they can instead simply wait for the haptic feel and keep their eyes on the road and shift at the right time'.

If you're looking for used cars in Bristol or elsewhere in the South West, you need look no further than the Fords available from the Foray Motor Group. The kind of cutting edge technological advancement that is described in this article has always been associated with their vehicles so, even if you are investing in a second hand model, you will be guaranteed a car that represents the pinnacle of safety and performance.

Image credit: Khrawlings (