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Driver preference for fore-aft steering wheel location

In: SAE International journal of passenger cars. Mechanical systems. Vol. 6, no. 2 (2013), p. 629-635.

Authors: Matthew Reed

The fore-aft location of the steering wheel relative to the pedals is a critical determinant of driving posture and comfort. Current SAE practices lack quantitative guidance on steering wheel positioning. This paper presents a model of subjective preference for fore-aft steering wheel position across a range of seat heights. Sixty-eight men and women evaluated the steering wheel positions in a total of 9 package conditions differentiated by seat height and fore-aft steering wheel position. Numerical responses were given on a 7-point scale anchored with the words “Too Close�, “Just Right�, and “Too Far�. A statistical analysis of the results demonstrated that the preferred fore-aft steering wheel position was affected by seat height and driver stature. An ordinal logistic regression model was created that predicts the distribution of subjective responses to steering wheel location. The model can be used to calculate the preferred steering wheel position for individuals or populations. The results were compared to distributions of steering wheel locations in 86 vehicles.

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