April 21, 2024

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The Ultimate Driving Machines

BMW is developing ‘shape-shifting’ steering wheels

BMW is operating on new technological know-how that will see steering wheels adjust condition before our quite eyes.

Patents submitted by the German manufacturer present a wheel that can adjust from a traditional circular condition to an oval condition making use of different rim elements that can pivot in relation to each and every other. In accordance to fan web page BMWX2forum.com this could be applied to present extra house for the driver when a vehicle is in autonomous manner, although Auto Specific understands that additional basic safety is the major reason BMW is creating the technological know-how.

BMW has historical past when it will come to innovative steering wheels. It’s Vision iNext notion, unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Exhibit, highlighted a squared-off steering wheel developed to allow for drivers to easily change concerning autonomous and active driving modes. BMW claimed that its unusual shape would make it less difficult for the driver to recognise the car’s steering angle.

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That steering wheel is anticipated to make it onto subsequent year’s iNext output vehicle – which could wear an iX5 badge. BMW has by now explained that the iNEXT’s steering wheel will be equipped with optical fibres to allow the driver know when autonomous driving modes are readily available for use, and alert of circumstances where the driver is expected to retake regulate of the vehicle.

Even so, the new patents reveal that BMW ideas to get steering wheel technological know-how a phase even more, and its invention has the backing of vehicle basic safety scientists.

In 2017 scientists at Stanford College conducted tests making use of a check rig that includes a robotic steering wheel that could adjust condition. Their tests confirmed that drivers questioned to get regulate of an autonomously-pushed vehicle in an crisis scenario reacted more rapidly to a steering wheel that mechanically alterations its condition than a steering wheel that makes use of flashing LED lights to warn the driver.

The summary of the Stanford examine was: “Drivers who expert the robotic steering wheel done considerably superior than individuals who expert the LED steering wheel. The results of this examine advise that alerts utilising mechanical movements are extra powerful than purely visual warnings.”

The condition-shifting steering wheel is not likely to make it onto 2021’s iNext product, but could only be a couple several years away from output.

Do you like the plan of a vehicle steering wheel that alters its condition? Enable us know in the comments…