Zach Nelson is an engineer at Ford, a company known for putting the focus on using technology in its cars to make sure drivers keep their eyes on the road. His latest project is aimed at helping those who are unfamiliar with driving manual transmission vehicles in learning good habits for shifting gears. His project is a 3D printed gear knob that uses Ford’s OpenXC research platform to link it to his car via Bluetooth. It can then get information from the engine management system to vibrate at the optimum time to shift gears to increase fuel efficiency or to train new drivers on when to shift gears.. The knob has a vibration unit from an Xbox 360 controller inside it and an LCD display on the top to show the driver which gear they’re currently in which are all tied together by an arduino board and an Android tablet that does all of the processing.
The entire project is available for download from the OpenXC including the 3D printing files for the knob itself.