Cruise control stalk mod to right hand steering wheel buttons

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alindsay81

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Drove a BMW recently and i loved how the cruise control was layed out so its led me to considering this...

On the right hand side of the steering wheel we have 4 buttons, 2 for telephone that i do not use (I dont have the telephone option) and 2 for radio volume.

I've been thinking it would be nice to move the cruise signals to the wheel buttons

+ = cruise on / speed increase
- = speed decrease
phone answer = cruise to last speed
phone hangup = cruise off

Speed limiter = dont care

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or opinions before i start to look into this further...
 

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Aye my Beemer was like this and it was much easier but cruise isn't something I use so don't mind the stalk. Beemer had the edge for audio controls where radio stations could be skipped using the +/- buttons. The MB doesn't do this and its a massive oversite and you have to press one of the keys on the dash.

I prefer the MB one stalk however for wipers/indicators etc. Keeps things simple.

I wouldn't say I would want all cars controls etc to be identical, little things/differences give them character and uniqueness
 

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Aye my Beemer was like this and it was much easier but cruise isn't something I use so don't mind the stalk. Beemer had the edge for audio controls where radio stations could be skipped using the +/- buttons. The MB doesn't do this and its a massive oversite and you have to press one of the keys on the dash.

Mine does, have you tried the menu up/down buttons on the other side?
 

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Agree with Alex. Select radio in the screen and the channels can be 'skipped' with the steering wheel buttons. Been on MB for years IIRC.

I like the cruise stalk where it is and use it a lot -especially in speed limit areas where traffic is moving freely - and on motroways. Just a flick of the finger while still in full control of the wheel. Great IMO.
 
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alindsay81

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Agree with Alex. Select radio in the screen and the channels can be 'skipped' with the steering wheel buttons. Been on MB for years IIRC.

I like the cruise stalk where it is and use it a lot -especially in speed limit areas where traffic is moving freely - and on motroways. Just a flick of the finger while still in full control of the wheel. Great IMO.

when im driving i have my left arm on the arm rest so if i need to make a speed adjustment i have to lift my arm to the stalk. my right hand is already beside the telephone/volume buttons so a quick press with my thumb is all that would be required. I adjust my cruise control more than i adjust my radio volume

going to remove buttons/airbag this weekend and see what i can achieve.
 

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The steering wheel buttons are on the can bus system i think so you would have to get a interface (like the kind i got for an aftermarket head unit). I think this will be very difficult to do, but good luck.
 

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when im driving i have my left arm on the arm rest so if i need to make a speed adjustment i have to lift my arm to the stalk. my right hand is already beside the telephone/volume buttons so a quick press with my thumb is all that would be required. I adjust my cruise control more than i adjust my radio volume

It's a really hard life isn't it, having to move your arm when you're driving. Phew! ;)

Actually, isn't it classed as not having control of your car if you're not holding the wheel with both hands? Like the woman who was fined for eating a sandwich when she was driving.
 

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Assuming that both the butons and stalk are on the can bus it probably is possible but a very detailed knowledge of micro electronics and can bus architecture would be required to change the signals over without causing chaos. Sounds like a tall order.

I have driven a number of cars with cruise switches on the wheel, inc a Vauxhall last week, my previous jeep and the Land rover I have now and in all cases I miss the simplicity and lack of confusion you get with the stalk. The problem with wheel buttons is that you have to identify which, out of a panel of buttons you need to press at that moment. Sure one's raised, one isn't etc but even then you have to feel around for the right one or worse look down. Not something I want to be messing around with on a busy motorway. Also, these normally come with an overall cruise on-off which I find an unnecessary pain. If I select 'set' I want it set,..now. I don't want to think, is it on, has it engaged etc and worry about turning it on first. The stalk is easy. up down, forward and back, falls easily to hand so no looking for it and no confusion about which option you've selected. Up - faster, down slower, what could be simpler?
Admittedly it may be on the wrong side for RHD cars, but thats a separate argument. (Officially we should have both hands on the wheel anyway - and no I'm not pontificating, I'm as big an offender as he rest of you) Its one of the things MB have got absolutely right IMO. Get used to it and you'll start to wonder, like I do, why everyone else is out of step with one of the most sensible pieces of ergonomic design in a modern motor car.
 

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Look, no hands!

Wholeheartedly agree with jberks, Helen and Hawk. The stalk is straightforward and intuitive. Driving with 2 hands on the wheel is indeed recommended. If a person were to drive with one hand on the armrest, and the other on the window sill, control of the car would seem to be the first casualty, but I have to say I feel that even whilst apparently in control, such drivers have long since ceased to concentrate on the task.

Next time you are on the motorway, and have to negotiate your way around a driver who is stuck in lane 2, in spite of an absence of any traffic in lane one, have a squint as you go past. Dollars to doughnuts the right arm will be on the windowsill, and the brain in neutral! And this generalisation includes Traffic Policemen! (who were surely never taught to drive like that?)?

The other feature of cruise control which goes unnoticed is the way in which the speedometer (around the outside of the scale) shows the speed to which cruise control is set - can be a useful reminder if you have sneaked above your chosen speed for any reason.
 

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I agree MB is the best I've driven so far. All other have to be turned on and off before you can use them.
What about going downhill - I'm not sure if the MB system brakes the vehicle - sometimes it seems to do this, sometimes not?
 

Alex M Grieve

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I agree MB is the best I've driven so far. All other have to be turned on and off before you can use them.
What about going downhill - I'm not sure if the MB system brakes the vehicle - sometimes it seems to do this, sometimes not?

Good point Peter. On my more recent cars it does keep the speed correct, uphill or downhill. On my SL (1994) it will keep the speed up, but does not keep it down going downhill.

It may be a generational thing - perhaps a refinement introduced at some point (when?), but it is something to be sure about on your own car as many of us use this to ensure that we don't exceed the speed limit in suburban areas, where they Gatsos are most predatory!
 

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I agree MB is the best I've driven so far. All other have to be turned on and off before you can use them.
What about going downhill - I'm not sure if the MB system brakes the vehicle - sometimes it seems to do this, sometimes not?

My previous E - 2000 model - didn't brake though it did downshift in an attempt to slow me down if on a very steep hill (I was trying to answer that same question).
But,
My current E (2004) does brake. Not sure if this was part of the SBC integration but then it has the ability to brake anyway through the ESP system so maybe it was just something they integrated later.
 
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alindsay81

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What is the arm rest for if I cant use it to rest my arm :confused:

Anyway this isn't (or at least wasn't supposed to be) about driving style, its supposed to be about moving a 4 position switch to 4 separate buttons.

In reply to jberks, I dont believe this to be such big task, I do have allot or experience with canbus and microelectronics - but never in a car - we use canbus in industrial applications etc. Granted I don't know how the stalk/buttons interface with the bus, but it wont take long finding out once i get some free time.


Anyway, will update once I've had a better look at what's involved.
 

jberks

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What is the arm rest for if I cant use it to rest my arm :confused:

Anyway this isn't (or at least wasn't supposed to be) about driving style, its supposed to be about moving a 4 position switch to 4 separate buttons.

In reply to jberks, I dont believe this to be such big task, I do have allot or experience with canbus and microelectronics - but never in a car - we use canbus in industrial applications etc. Granted I don't know how the stalk/buttons interface with the bus, but it wont take long finding out once i get some free time.


Anyway, will update once I've had a better look at what's involved.

Interesting project - let us know how you go on.
Also, do remember to tell anyone who drives it. A mechanic on a test drive trying to turn the radio up could get a fright!
 

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I cant see this as being possible, and I am in electronic. what you are attempting is like moving characters around on a computer keyboard .

The stalk is great with distronic as the brakes keep the speed exact, each lift of the stalk it changes by 5 MPH, yesterday on a high speed long run, cruise at 75mph, 3 nudges and its down to the strict 60 MPH limit for single carriageway camera studded streches
 
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alindsay81

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My stalk changes speed by 1 MPH, I always use cruise and always make small adjustments in speed to match the traffic around me, my road to work is a busy single carriageway. This is why id like to be able to make these frequent adjustments with my thumb.
 

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i have recently come from bmw to mercedes and greatly prefer the stalk cruise control on my clk .it is so easy to mix up the volume control buttons with the criuse control buttons on the bmw,and can be dangerous if you try to increase volume and press the cruise button instead!
 

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i have recently come from bmw to mercedes and greatly prefer the stalk cruise control on my clk .it is so easy to mix up the volume control buttons with the criuse control buttons on the bmw,and can be dangerous if you try to increase volume and press the cruise button instead!

One advantage would be that it deadens the sound of the crash:D:D
 

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