I've recently purchases a manual transmission 1.5 Honda Mobilio. Which claimed to be a drive by wire vehicle and I assume it really is (don't know how to tell if a car is drive by wire). I am a new driver and not sure which parts of a drive-by-wire really is "by-wire".

Are all drive-by-wire cars completely (brakes, clutch, gas, steer) by wire? or does this vary between cars?

1 Answer 1


If the car is drive by wire it doesn't mean everything

There are some cars that are drive by wire where it's the accelerator only.

Brake by Wire

If it's an electronic brake system the term EBS or electronic braking system may be thrown around. As the article states EBS systems are typically found on commercial vehicles.

True brake by wire systems are in use in Formula 1 cars under the 2016 regulations. Honda and Chevrolet have hybrid brake by wire systems where some of the braking is done by electromagnets. If we are getting critical then we would consider those systems as more regenerative braking. Currently there are no brakes actuated by electric motors with hydraulics removed from the system but they are in development.

Steer by Wire

The only steer by wire system that is not a hybrid is the Infiniti Q50. There is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels.

Shift by Wire

Common. Think of paddle shifters.

Throttle by Wire

Very common. Some motorcycles too. Your foot depresses the pedal various sensors detect the desired amount of pedal and take into consideration wheel speed, RPM, etc to open a butterfly electronically in your throttle body.

All of the these systems go by the terminology of x-by-wire. The X being the variable of course.

Here is a great article on "How Electronic Throttle Control Works".

  • Thansk for the helpful link Ducat! However just one followup question. How do I know specifically which parts of my car are x-by-wire? When all that is mentioned in the specs is the term "Drive-by-wire"? Feb 12, 2016 at 4:22
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    I believe the only true way to tell would be to look at the input and out device and see if there is linkage between them. Throttle cable at the throttle body, shaft into the master cylinder for brakes, steering shaft for steering. Transmission - look for a cable (or 2 on stick) that would be connected between the shifter and the transmission. Clutch - look for a cable or master cylinder connected to the clutch pedal. If any of these are electronic, there will only be sensors/motors, not linkage.
    – rpmerf
    Feb 12, 2016 at 16:28

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