Ford’s Vibrating Stick Shift Helps Novice Drivers Change Gears
Open source software and hardware from an XBox created this custom shifter that provides a more intuitive driving experience.
Some people learn to drive an automatic because it’s more convenient, others learn because shifting gears manually poses too much of challenge – thankfully an engineer at Ford has created a device that will make life easier for the second group.
Zach Nelson, a junior engineer at Ford, ripped the haptic feedback motor out of an Xbox 360 controller and put it inside a custom shifter he printed using a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. He installed an Arduino controller and connected an Android tablet with a mini-USB port and a Bluetooth receiver, then hacked his way into a Mustang’s on-board diagnostic system using Ford’s open source OpenXC software platform.