Ford Engineer Designs Vibrating Shift Knob With 3D Printer and Xbox 360 Controller image

Zachary Nelson, a Ford engineer, has designed a haptic shift knob which vibrates when the driver has to change the gear.

“I wanted to create something that expands the car’s capabilities and improves the experience for the driver,” said Nelson. “I decided to use OpenXC to provide a new kind of feedback for the driver through the shift knob.”

The process is quite simple: the car sends data wirelessly from the on-board diagnostics port through the Bluetooth OpenXC adapter. To vibrate the knob uses the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller inwards. The knob is even able to pinpoint exactly when to shift to get either the best fuel economy or the most performance.

“I decided to have a little fun with it and installed an LED display on top that shows the gear position and colored lights that glow from inside at night similar to the ambient lighting in Mustang,” adds Nelson.

Ford’s OpenXC can be considered a pioneer in the industry and could offer aftermarket companies the possibility to develop many sanctioned and safe parts. With the new haptic shift knob you will never shift too soon or into the wrong gear again.