on 30 May 2023
Volvo Penta has launched a revolutionary new level of joystick driving with the integration of shift, throttle, and steering into a single joystick control.
Since 2012, joystick steering has been an integral part of Volvo Penta’s trademark helm-to-propeller experience. Now, maneuverability, course adjustment, throttle and shift can be controlled through one joystick – and therefore, a single hand.
Simplicity at your Fingertips
A unique innovation for the marine industry, joystick driving sets a new benchmark in intuitive, flexible navigation. With the new joystick driving, owners and crew will be able to simply push the joystick forward to engage the gear, speed up or slow down, and release it to remain at a certain speed. The acceleration will be proportional to the angle of the joystick. When the joystick is pulled back, the throttle reduces, and the boat will stop. To further enhance the driving experience, electronic gear shifting enables smooth acceleration and deceleration.
When users activate the joystick driving function, key driver information – the requested gear, speed, and heading – is automatically displayed in the Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit helm display and users can tailor the joystick driving view to show the information they need for full control of the situation.
“The first time you try our new joystick driving, the function is so seamless and intuitive, you feel like it has been there forever,” says Anders Thorin, marine electronics product planner at Volvo Penta. “Integrated shift, throttle and steering into the same control delivers a completely new driving experience – where the joystick can be used for your complete journey – without needing to touch the steering wheel or control lever. It feels like this is the way you were always meant to drive.”
Taking a Human-centric Approach
Designed with a keen focus on efficiency and comfort, the new joystick driving delivers new standards of cruising and freedom. The joystick can be conveniently installed on the armrest of the driver’s seat, ensuring an ergonomic driving posture and offering an excellent solution for all kinds of vessels, small or large, guaranteeing comfort over extended periods.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) now can create pioneering helm stations and driving experiences, with this latest iteration of joystick driving opens entirely new possibilities for helm design, catering to the evolving preferences of the marine industry.
“We envisage a fundamental shift in future helm design,” says Thorin. “A user-centred approach will take centre stage, and we are developing solutions that facilitate the creation of helm stations tailored to individual comfort, efficiency and safety. With our new joystick driving, you can have a seamless experience without ever having to leave the captain’s chair or move your hand between different controls. Personalized design, automated functionality, and simplistic solutions like joystick driving will form the basis of a modular helm design approach that boaters can select from, as they design their future helm.”
Joystick Driving will be available as a direct upgrade to those vessels that already have Joystick Steering onboard and the latest generation of Electronic Vessel Control (EVC 2).
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