Toyota Patents Four-Wheel Steering System With Outlandish Driving Abilities

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Toyota has patented a four-wheel steering system in the US, which can allow a car to drive in a lateral direction or make 360-degree turns on the spot

Four-wheel steering is not a new technology; carmakers have been offering such systems for decades now, to improve the handling characteristics of their vehicles. However, GMC took it one step further last year with the Hummer EV, which gets a unique ‘Crab Walk’ mode that allows the vehicle to drive in a diagonal direction.

Toyota seems to be working on a new steering system that offers even more manoeuvrability. The Japanese car giant has filed a patent in the US for a steering system with independent steering capabilities for all wheels. The system allows each wheel to turn by 90 degrees or even more. Thanks to this steering system, upcoming Toyota cars could have the ability to drive in a diagonal or even lateral direction!

Of course, like a regular four-wheel steering system, it will also help reduce the turning radius of vehicles, even allowing them to turn on the spot! The patent is likely to be used for EVs, as such a complicated steering system would have difficulty being compatible with an internal combustion powertrain.

Toyota all-wheel steering patent

With electric vehicles, especially ones with an electric motor on every wheel, such a system would be relatively easy to implement. The patent filing also states that a direction indication system could be included alongside, which will let surrounding road users and pedestrians know whenever the vehicle is making a lateral move or an on-the-spot turn. This system might use optical or sound indicators; the final arrangement is yet to be determined.

Earlier this year, Toyota had revealed that it is working on a new electric pickup truck, codenamed ‘bZ4X’. Other than that, Toyota also has a few other EVs in the making, which should include an SUV as well. These upcoming EVs will likely feature the new steering system, which will give them brilliant manoeuvrability along with great off-roading capabilities.

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Although the patent received approval in September 2021, it was filed back in August 2019. We’re not sure how far the development has come till now, but we could see this brand-new all-wheel steering system on a production model in a year or two.