The mainstream automobile has made tremendous avances over the past 50 years in safety, engine technology and comfort. At its core, though, it's remained the same: Four wheels, seats and a steering wheel for the driver.

In 1965, Ford proposed a change that would have revolutionized that fundamental setup.

Check out the video above. The company's engineers eliminated the steering wheel in an experimental Mercury Park Lane, and replaced it with two five-inch metallic rings mounted on a two-pronged stick.

The "Wrist-Twist" control system was supposed to make it easier for drivers to enter and exit the vehicle, and create better visibility of the instrument panel and the road ahead. The wrist-twist controls required far smaller movements to steer.

Ostensibly, the system also intended to make parallel parking easier. With a tinge of sexism, the ad says the female motorist is "as non-technical as they come" and that "most women agree that parking is the most taxing part of driving," and Wrist-Twist promises to ease that stress.

In regard to eliminating the steering wheel, the narrator says, "you can never tell what surprises automakers have just around the corner."

Or not.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 148 Comments
      scot168
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder how they got the woman away from her house cleaning to drive the car?
      Frank
      • 2 Years Ago
      What next ? A transmission that shifts itself ?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Problem is that you still have to use 2 hands to steer that. No biggie anymore, there are stick controls for driving now. so you can use only 1 hand to drive and the other to do like most drivers out there on the road do... Drive with a finger in the butt! (or ****)
      scot168
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder how they got the woman away from her house cleaning to drive the car?
      Freddie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Everyone says they'd rather have the steering wheel. If this would have been put in production...the steering wheel would now be history. I would have liked to try it!
        MOOSE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Freddie
        Those handles would have pierced your chest and stomach in a heartbeat by acting like a spear in an accident. Actual death machine controls
        MOOSE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Freddie
        Those handles would have pierced your chest and stomach in a heartbeat by acting like a spear in an accident. Actual death machine controls
      Keith
      • 2 Years Ago
      My grandparents had a '65 Mercury Park Lane hardtop, identical to the first one in the video. Brings back memories.
      setthe4
      • 2 Years Ago
      In a frontal collision, that would skewer the driver.
      runswthscisors40
      • 2 Years Ago
      What next? A car that parks itself?..................
        HAT1701D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @runswthscisors40
        Yep, to bad too...shows how lazy we've become.
      emoore2927
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would consider that option in a vehicle.
      cigary43
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wonder how that 'steering wheel' design would work in a collision. It looks like peoples ribs would be broken quickly and chest trauma that would probably cause a heart attack.
      romperzombie
      • 2 Years Ago
      NOW-THAT-IS-COOL!!!!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a great example of how the auto industry used to think 'ahead' and 'outside the box'. This is a difficult thing to do now-a-days because of all the government regulation. Time, money and research must be delgated to demands 'of the govenment' instead of innovative ideas. (Wait until this happens with the Health Care Industry and there is no time for research for new cures for deseases) Big Goverment is not so good......
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