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Steering wheel

A steering wheel (also called a driving wheel or a hand wheel) is a type of steering control in vehicles. Steering wheels are used in most modern land vehicles, including all mass-production automobiles, as well as buses, light and heavy trucks, and tractors. The steering wheel is the part of the steering system that is manipulated by the driver; the rest of the steering system responds to such driver inputs. This can be through direct mechanical contact as in recirculating ball or rack and pinion steering gears, without or with the assistance of hydraulic power steering, HPS, or as in some modern production cars with the assistance of computer-controlled motors, known as Electric Power Steering. Near the start of the 18th century, a large number of sea vessels appeared using the ship's wheel design, but historians are unclear when that approach to steering was first used. The first automobiles were steered with a tiller, but in 1894, Alfred Vacheron took part in the Paris–Rouen race with a Panhard 4 hp model which he had fitted with a steering wheel. That is believed to be one of the earliest employments of the principle. From 1898, the Panhard et Levassor cars were equipped as standard with steering wheels. Charles Rolls introduced the first car in Britain fitted with a steering wheel when he imported a 6 hp Panhard from France in 1898. Arthur Constantin Krebs replaced the tiller with an inclined steering wheel for the Panhard car he designed for the 1898 Paris–Amsterdam–Paris race which ran 7–13 July 1898. In 1898, Thomas B. Jeffery and his son, Charles T. Jeffery, developed two advanced experimental cars featuring a front-mounted engine, as well as a steering wheel that was mounted on the left-hand side. However, the early automaker adopted a more 'conventional' rear-engine and tiller-steering layout for its first mass-produced Ramblers in 1902. The following year, the Rambler Model E was largely unchanged, except that it came equipped with a tiller early in the year, but with a steering wheel by the end of 1903. By 1904, all Ramblers featured steering wheels. Within a decade, the steering wheel had entirely replaced the tiller in automobiles. At the insistence of Thomas B. Jeffery, the position of the driver was also moved to the left-hand side of the car during the 1903 Rambler production. Most other car makers began offering cars with left-hand drive in 1910. Soon after, most cars in the U.S. converted to left hand drive. Steering wheels for passenger automobiles are generally circular, and are mounted to the steering column by a hub connected to the outer ring of the steering wheel by one or more spokes (single spoke wheels being a rather rare exception). Other types of vehicles may use the circular design, a butterfly shape, or some other shape. In countries where cars must drive on the left side of the road, the steering wheel is typically on the right side of the car (right-hand drive or RHD); the converse applies in countries where cars drive on the right side of the road (left-hand drive or LHD). In addition to its use in steering, the steering wheel is the usual location for a button to activate the car's horn. Modern automobiles may have other controls, such as cruise control, audio system and telephone controls, as well as paddle shifters, built into the steering wheel to minimize the extent to which the driver must take their hands off the wheel.

[ "Control theory", "Control engineering", "Automotive engineering", "Utility model", "Mechanical engineering", "Pitman arm", "electronic power steering", "Electronic differential", "Torque steering" ]
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