Drive By Cable Vs Drive By Wire

Drive By Cable Vs Drive By Wire – Which Is Better?

In the world of advanced vehicle technology, there are two types of throttle systems that have been developed: drive by cable and drive by wire. Despite both serving the same purpose of regulating the speed of a vehicle, there are significant differences between them. In this article, we will delve into these differences, understand how they work, and determine which is the better system.

Drive-By Cable (DBC)

Drive by cable is the traditional system that has been used in vehicles since the early 1900s. DBC is a mechanical system that physically connects the accelerator pedal to the throttle body using a cable that pulls or pushes the throttle plate to increase or decrease the airflow in the engine. The amount of airflow determines how fast the vehicle moves.

The DBC system has been a reliable technology that effectively controlled the speed of vehicles for over a century. However, many manufacturers are phasing out this technology because it has extra maintenance compared to the newer technology – Drive by Wire.

Drive-By Wire (DBW)

Drive-by-wire is a new and advanced technology that has replaced drive by cable technology. Drive by wire, as the name suggests, uses electrical signal instead of a physical cable, to control the throttle. The signals sent from the accelerator pedal are interpreted by the control unit or the electronic control module (ECM), which then adjusts the throttle through a motorized actuator.

The DBW system has many advantages over DBC. Firstly, it eliminates the hassle of maintaining the cable-controlled system. Secondly, it enhances vehicle response time, operability, and fuel efficiency. Thirdly, it allows the designer to incorporate more advanced features and driver-assist technology. Some drivers even report experiencing a smoother, more refined interior driving experience with DBW-equipped vehicles.

Apart from the above-mentioned advantages, the drive-by-wire system is also more reliable compared to the DBC system, as there are fewer mechanical components involved. With fewer mechanisms, there is less wear and tear over time, thereby increasing the lifespan of the system.

Moreover, drive by wire also allows for greater control as electronic signals are faster than mechanical movements, allowing the ECM to make finer adjustments to the throttle position. The system also provides more customized settings to suit the driver’s preferences.


To summarize, DBW is a significant improvement over DBC, with many advantages over the traditional technology. Although drive-by-wire technology may be the superior system, it is important to note that it is also more expensive to implement, which is why some manufacturers still use drive-by-cable technology.

However, as technology improves, it is expected that the DBW system will become more cost-effective, leading to its increased adoption in the automotive industry. Vehicles equipped with DBW system will provide better fuel efficiency, smoother operation, and enhanced driver-assist features. Moreover, these vehicles will also be more efficient and reliable, leading to a better user experience.

Some of the relevant keywords for this article are:

– Drive by cable vs Drive by Wire
– Throttle systems
– DBW technology
– DBC technology
– Accelerator Pedal
– Electronic Control Module
– Fuel Efficiency
– Mechanical Components
– Driver-Assist Technology