TRW unveils new steering concept at Geneva

System lends itself to auto-driving systems

Published:  17 March, 2014

TRW has unveiled a new steering wheel concept at the Geneva motor show which offers support during semi-automated and automated driving situations.

The wheel featured in Rinspeed's XchangE vehicle, featuring a steer-by-wire system and a steering position that can be moved between driver and passenger. The wheel features an integrated hands on/off sensor which can detect whether the vehicle is being driven manually, or whether it needs to switch to automated mode.

In addition, the wheel in the concept vehicle also features the gear shift for the automatic vehicle, allowing the driver to choose from park, drive, reverse or manual by touching the relevant switch. The horn is also sounded by touching a conductive button on the airbag.

Guido Hirzmann, group leader, new technology, Mechatronic, commented: "With the increasing number of electronically controlled functions in the vehicle, certain controls can be eliminated or packaged into the steering wheel, offering more space and flexibility for the car interior. For example, with the XchangE vehicle, we have been able to remove the centre console and integrate the gear shift into the steering wheel.

"Our steering wheel concept redefines the conventional role of the steering wheel as cars evolve and as a result can help to reduce some of the driving tasks and increase comfort. The technology is part of TRW's efforts to support the path to automated driving and promote the car of the future."

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