1992. SAAB is experineting with a drive-by-wire system similar to fly-by-wire aircraft control systems.
The test car SAAB 9000, even has side-mounted joystick instead of a steering wheel. The stick sends electrical signals to a control box ona a hidraulic cylinder that moves the steering linkage.The two-litre Saab 9000 Turbo used to test the active steering has automatic
gears and anti-lock brakes and a conventional accelerator.
Since no steering column is needed, reason SAAB, why clutter up instrumental panel with steering wheel, a prime safety hazard during a crash?
The system is fail-safed with reserve hydraulic preasure and electrical power. Saab’s research tide into Europe’s PROMETHEUS smart highway program.
Eventual production model should have two joysticks one for each arm so the driver can swap the arm in control. Project remained at the level of research.