The distractions at the wheel are the main cause of most accidents today. That is why many manufacturers have insisted on avoiding those stimuli that make users divert their attention to the wheel. And what we could get to see in the next few years is this steering wheel with heat signals that Jaguar Land Rover is working on. The British firm has collaborated with the University of Glasgow to develop this curious idea that could make sense.
This invention that has been termed as “sensory steering wheel” has the ability to quickly heat up and cool down to command the driver. This thermal signal would cause one of the sides of the steering wheel to warm another 6°C, which would indicate that you have to make a turn in that direction. The user could regulate if the temperature change is lighter or more pronounced.
This flyer with heat signals would not only serve to indicate turns, it could also warn when it is necessary to change lanes or a junction that is nearby. This technology may seem unnecessary to many, but the brand highlights its operation when there is reduced visibility due to weather or the road. We also want to emphasize that with this system the person is more involved in driving and gets the focus of attention on the road. The use of this steering wheel could be extended using vibrations for less urgent warnings, such as when it enters fuel reserve or a point of interest in the route. The temperature would remain for indications when driving and that the voice guidance for navigation is not necessary. Even later, the thermal signal on the shift cams could be used to indicate the change between manual and autonomous mode when cars of this type arrive.