Toyota is bringing the U.S.-bound 2024 Land Cruiser to the Japan Mobility Show next week, but as you can see, it's not the regular LC 250. Gone is the traditional round steering wheel to make room for what the automotive giant refers to as "NEO Steer." It takes inspiration from motorcycle handlebars by integrating the controls for acceleration and braking into the steering wheel. Doing so eliminates the need for pedals.
The yoke-like steering wheel enables hand-operated driving, therefore making the 2024 Land Cruiser usable by drivers with lower limb impairments. The newly gained controls are mounted on the right side of the yoke and effectively replace the acceleration and brake pedals, thus allowing drivers to sit more comfortably and enter/exit with ease.
Bear in mind Toyota is no stranger to yokes considering its luxury division Lexus has engineered one for the RZ electric crossover with a steer-by-wire system. It's offered as an alternative to a traditional steering wheel.
Toyota is not the first Japanese automaker to cater to people with disabilities as Mazda has been selling its range of "Self-empowerment Driving Vehicles" for years. The 2, MX-30, CX-5, and even the MX-5 Miata in both soft-top and RF flavors come with a lever mounted next to the center console that replaces the pedals. These cars can also be ordered with a special steering wheel featuring a built-in knob to enable one-hand steering.
Toyota is putting on quite a show at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show by bringing a plethora of concepts, most of which are electric. There's a zero-emission, three-row Land Cruiser Se, a Ford Maverick-rivaling pickup truck, and even a sports car that also does away with the combustion engine.