Cars with two steering wheels are extremely rare but there. Actually, most of them are conventional cars that originally had one steering wheel before undergoing some aftermarket modifications.
The two-steering wheel concept doesn’t seem to be an appealing idea for many automakers. In fact, only one maker is known to be testing a two-steering wheel car.
It’s worth noting that this car is being utilized strictly for research purposes as opposed to conventional traveling.
Before taking a closer look at this particular car, here’s what you need to know about dual-steering wheel cars;
These cars are not built for fanciness as you might think. Instead, they are normally created for very specific purposes. For example, you’ll find them being used in special applications such as autonomous driving(where the car drives itself), road line marking, and road sweeping.
Driving schools are another application where cars with two steering wheels are commonly used. Here, they are used to help learners learn to drive effortlessly.
In many two-steering-wheels driving school cars, the alternative driving side is often equipped with a duplicate clutch pedal, a brake pedal, and an accelerator pedal.
That way, the instructor can quickly take control of the car if the learner panics or makes a mistake while driving on the highway.
Without further ado, here’s a list of cars with two steering wheels;
The 2017 Lexus LS 600HL Test Car With Twin Steering Wheels
The Toyota Research Institute, which is based in Silicon Valley, CA, USA has been testing a two-steering wheel self-driving sedan since 2017.
The world’s biggest carmaker has modified the premium Lexus LS 600HL model, successfully adding an extra steering wheel to it and converting it into an autonomous car.
The sedan that can be driven both by a human and a robot packs several unbelievable features. For example, the self-driving car comes with special sensors known as “LIDAR sensors”, which are designed to be installed on the car’s roof.
These high-tech sensors emit invisible laser lights. This technology allows the car to scan and detect objects in the far or near vicinity of the sensors and create a 3-dimensional map of those objects and the car’s surroundings on the display screen.
Apart from LIDAR, it also boasts improved human driver or robot driver detection, enabling the car to quickly detect when it’s being driven either by a human being or a robot.
Another important feature of this autonomous car from the Toyota Research Institute is more efficient transfer control from human to robot or vice versa.
This allows the sedan to adjust its behavior accordingly when you hand over control to the robot or vice versa.
One of the steering wheels is known as the guardian system. The other one is referred to as the chauffeur system. Both steering systems have the same software sensors though.
The Chauffeur system is responsible for all driving tasks. The Guardian system, on the other hand, serves as a safety net for the human driver.
The world’s biggest carmaker first unveiled this dual-steering wheel car in 2017 strictly for research and testing purposes. Today, the company is testing an unknown number of this particular car model both in closed courses and on public roads.
Actually, you may come across these cars when driving along public roads in Massachusetts, Michigan, Silicon Valley Ann Arbor, and Cambridge.
Here are the specs of the Toyota Lexus LS 600HL, the model out of which this two-steering-wheels sedan has been modified;
- Year of Manufacture: 2017.
- Engine Power: 5.0-liter 2UR-FSE hybrid V8 automatic transmission engine that produces 290 HP and 300 N-m of torque
- Gas Mileage: 19 miles per gallon(city driving) and 23 miles per gallon(highway driving).
- Car Type: Sedan.
- Car Price: About $73,500, including a destination charge of $975.
N/B: The 2017 self-driving Toyota Lexus LS 600HL model with two steering wheels, which the Toyota Research Institute is currently testing is still not yet available for sale.
2000-2003 Opel Corsa 1.2 16V
This epic Opel Corsa 1.2 16V car was modified and turned into a two-steering wheel car as showcased in this video. And yes, both steering wheels work properly.
As you can see, the steering wheel on the driver’s side steers the hatchback to the left effectively whereas the steering wheel on the passenger’s side steers the car to the right effectively.
Though it looks simple, it took a lot of work to get the double-steering system to work properly.
To allow independent movement of the front wheels, the car’s steering rack was removed and sliced up. Thereafter, the extra steering wheel with all the necessary linkages was mounted on the passenger side.
Here are the specs of the 2000-2003 Opel Corsa 1.2 16V
- Year of Manufacture: 2000-2003.
- Engine Power: Z12XE inline 4-cylinder 5-speed manual transmission FWD petrol engine that generates 74HP and 81 lb. ft of torque.
- Gas Mileage: 30 miles per gallon(city driving) and 48 miles per gallon(highway driving).
- Car Type: Hatchback.
- Car Price: Around $1,814.56—$4,780.11 as a used car.
Where Are Cars With Two Steering Wheels Used?
Cars with two steering wheels are normally used in specific applications such as driving schools and self-driving car research centers. Others are generally used for conventional traveling, especially those that have been modified in the aftermarket.
It is very rare to see a car with two steering wheels on the road. That’s because most manufacturers haven’t welcomed this concept.
Actually, it’s only Toyota that is subtly showing some intentions of manufacturing two-steering-wheels cars in the future, if the Toyota Research Institute’s project is anything to go by.
Most cars with two steering wheels you may see on the road are aftermarket modifications of conventional car models with a single steering wheel.
Honestly speaking, it’s hard to understand why car manufacturers aren’t having any interest in giving us cars of this nature.