Gear shifter orientation backwards?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by aka007ii, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. aka007ii

    aka007ii New Member

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    For a while I've been wondering why they made the shifter with reverse in the up possition and drive is down. Doesn't it seem more logical to shift up to go forward and down to reverse? Maybe that's why they added the beeping warning when in reverse inside the cabin. I dissabled the beep and have more than once almost shifted the wrong way. I caught myself before stepping on the gas. Maybe my logic is bass ackward.
     
  2. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    I thought so too at first, but I've learned to just "bat" the lever for Drive.

    If you look at a column shift for an auto tranny for a conventional car, you move the lever down for Drive, in a way.
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

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    Man, didn't you ever see "Independence Day"???? They set the standard for all modern space ships. Like you, someone thought forward was up, but Will Smith saved the planet by realizing forward was really DOWN. That standard was set 3 years before the first Prius was sold, just in time for Toyota engineering to adopt it! :lol:
     
  4. Jack 06

    Jack 06 New Member

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    This argument just went on, in excruciating detail, for days, over on Prius 2G, one of the Yahoo lists.

    They discussed every gear selector from every automatic and standard transmission ever made. :p Reverse on the right-hand side of neutral. Reverse on the left-hand side of neutral. Reverse to the far right and down. Reverse to the far left and down. Rotate the pattern 90 degrees.

    If it were a mammal, the Prius would be a platypus.
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

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    Well, all I can say is the members of Prius 2G just didn't properly qualify as geeks. They should turn their Prii in ASAP to the next qualified person... :rolleyes:
     
  6. maggieddd

    maggieddd Senior Member

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    it was a problem for me at first as well, but I got used to it very fast, and now I don't even have to look or think about it. If it was the other way around I would have a problem
     
  7. MNPrius

    MNPrius New Member

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    Probably the designer was "ahem" directionally challenged?! I definitely qualify under that statement and the gear shifter has made perfect sense to me! :rolleyes:
     
  8. tomdeimos

    tomdeimos New Member

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    Reverse has been up on every car I've ever owned, and on most cars I've ever seen that have conventional 3 speed gear boxes and a column shift.

    First gear and the drive or third gear are down.
    Reverse and second are up.

    Prius just leaves out the second gear!
     
  9. ScottY

    ScottY New Member

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    "Normal" cars have their R gear before N, then D.
    Like
    P
    R
    N
    D
    I guess Toyota is trying to make the Prius as close to a "normal" car as possible. And that's why eventho I know how to disable the beep, I didn't do it. Just for safety.
     
  10. Marlin

    Marlin New Member

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    On every car that has an automatic transmission shift lever between the seats, you pull the lever back, towards the driver to get into drive. To shift from drive to reverse, you push the lever forward, away from the driver.

    Just like it is on the Prius.
     
  11. c4

    c4 Active Member

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    I didn't have any problems adapting to the shift knob when I drove an HSD Prius, but then I learned to drive stick on an Case-International tractor which had a similar "reversed" shift pattern.. Of course I did have other problems because we just got a new model this year and they've gone and put the gearshift on the *left* and the front-end-loader control is mounted at an angle on the right and down low where the old shifter used to be, so the first few times, I automatically reached for the shift on the right and dumped the load instead of shifting into gear...
     
  12. Kagrims

    Kagrims New Member

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    Hello all,
    While this may not totally answer the "why is reverse up?" question, it might give some insight as to why Toyota made it shift that way.

    There is a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FVMSS #102) (also known as (46CFR571.102) that dictates to auto makers how to lay out the sequence of the gear shift lever selections. This standard demands a "clockwise" shifting motion to shift from neutral to "forward drive" on a steering column mounter shifter. (written in 1961 that most certanly was the most common style) It also says reverse must be on the opposite side of neutral from forward and park must be next to reverse (if present).

    If you put your shifting hand on top of the wheel and move it clockwise and rest it at your side, your hand first goes right, then down and finally back. This "follow through Clockwise" motion of your shifting hand most probably explains why we have the standard of shifting from nuetral to forward drive gears on a floor mounted console shifter by pulling back to go into forward gears. (which I agree, seems backward) That "pulling back" motion is a natural follow through of the "clockwise" motion on the litigated for the column shifter.

    This same relative "follow through clockwise" arm motion seems to be retained on the dash mounted selector of the Prius. Moving your arm in a "follow through clockwise" motion from an original clockwise motion gives the required "clockwise" shift from neutral to forward drive.

    To make a long story short, I believe Toyota most probably made the shifting sequence "upside down, so to speak" thinking that they were following US law as well as the console shifter precedence.

    One side note I found intersting when I read this law was "In vehicles having more than one forward transmission gear ratio, one forward drive position shall provide a greater degree of engine braking than the highest speed transmission ratio at vehicle speeds below 40 kilometers per hour."

    This explains why we have the manually selectable "B" position. I thought it was strange with all the automation to have that manual position. Now I know why.

    Kagrims
     
  13. jimofdg

    jimofdg New Member

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    Now we all know why! Welcome to PriusChat. What a great answer. If we still had (meaningless) points I would give you some.
     
  14. IsrAmeriPrius

    IsrAmeriPrius Progressive Member

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    Some of the PriusChat membership may never have heard of three on the tree.

    :D
     
  15. NuShrike

    NuShrike Active Member

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    Considering the rally style mounting of the stick and the direction of gravity, I think it's just safer to have all forward motion on the down-stroke for instances of a random waving arm, falling items, etc etc.

    If the stick was mounted horizontally, it then does make more sense to have D as the forward motion otherwise, but there's all this tradition and regulations.
     
  16. wrprice

    wrprice Active Member

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    I just think about it in terms of "at which end of the car do I want to leave my dust when I floor it?" :)
     
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