Home Gadgets Smart Gear Shifting: It’s All in the Vibrating Shift Knob (Video)

Smart Gear Shifting: It’s All in the Vibrating Shift Knob (Video)


Don’t you just love a nice engine roar?  I do.  In fact I had a quick training course (I’m a quick learner) about shift gearing and engine roaring without toasting the engine of my car.  And I think I’m pretty good at it (the driving, not the toasting) but I’m still working on the “fuel efficiency” part.  Living in an European country does that to you – the fuel efficiency part becomes top priority especially when most of the cars available have manual transmissions.

Latest cars’ versions all come with some “for dummies” features that will help you give your full attention to the road for a pleasant free-accident driving experience.  I was thrilled the first time I discovered the tiny arrows on the dashboard indicating it was time to shift gears!  Cool!

But if you are a tech lover – and driver like me you’re going to love the news that I’m about to share with you: what would you say if I told you there is a vibrating shift knob that tells you when it’s time to shift gears?  I would say “I want one of those!”

Smart Gear Shifting: It's all in the vibrating shift knob
Vibrating Shift Knob by Zachary Nelson

Ford engineer Zach Nelson created a 3D printed prototype of a ‘smart’ vibrating shift knob (another piece of smart art) that uses the vibrating mechanism of an Xbox 360 controller and communicates with the on-board diagnostc system of Ford via OpenXC software platform.

To put it in Nelson’s words “The vibrating knob can be installed onto the stock shift lever, and I’ve tested it on several vehicles including Mustang and Focus ST…  I decided to have a little fun with it and installed an LED display on top that shows the gear position.”

So, as I was saying, this vibrating shift knob can be very useful for beginners to learn how to drive a manual and for experienced drivers to learn how to improve the car performance through fuel efficiency.

It’s all win-win, don’t you think?

Here’s a short video about this fantastic piece of technology: