Now, I know that as humans we’re bipedal, but when we’re in a car, driving, we’re really being true quadrapeds. All four of our ropy, mammalian limbs are in use. And, in an automatic, its’s just three limbs, which means one limb is just being lazy. There’s a lot to control in a car–should we be giving more for that extra leg to do?


Once, many years ago, this was a thing. The controls to turn on or off your high-beams was almost always mounted on the floor via a toe-switch, even on cars with a clutch. For a while, some radios, like that Buick Selectronic radio over there, used a toe switch as a tuning/seek control.

I mean, if you think about it, foot controls are great. Modern cars, at least in America, are overwhelmingly automatics, so there’s only two pedals and a lot of free time for the left foot. Modern cars also have a crazy amount of center stack controls, often requiring touch or fussy little knobs or joysticks or pads.

Could some of these controls be migrated to a toe pad on the floor? Maybe a little foot-joystick kind of thing that would let you move in four directions to pick options, and tap to select?

I feel like instrument panels are getting too complex and cluttered for safe driving, so it’s starting to make sense to get that foot off its heel and help out.


What do you think? Do you want to give a bored leg something to do?

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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