BMW is developing a foldable steering wheel, and the main driver’s activity space can be increased after automatic driving takes over

On April 1, autonomous driving will be the biggest change in the history of automobiles, and the form of automobile design will also undergo various subversions. German automaker BMW appears to be designing a foldable steering wheel for self-driving cars, it was learned.

The patent shows that the steering wheel can change from a round shape to a football shape (oval). Obviously, the idea of ​​the patent is to use such a compact design, once the car’s self-driving system takes over, the person sitting in the driver’s seat can have more leg room.

At present, there is no guarantee that the foldable BMW steering wheel will be put into mass production, as automakers typically apply for technology that may be used someday in the future, but may not be mass-produced for many years, or even eventually abandoned. patent.

It is speculated that the revolutionary steering wheel may also change shape in the driver’s hands, delivering warnings to the driver faster than voice or audible reminders, thereby improving driving safety and reducing the risk of collisions .

Of course, BMW is currently tight-lipped about the status of the steering wheel and whether it will appear in the car, but it shows some lateral thinking about future self-driving cars.

At the same time, fully autonomous vehicles are not expected in the short term. As automakers around the world focus on electric vehicles and more energy-efficient engines, the development of autonomous driving technology has been put on the back burner. And, with the global coronavirus outbreak, the closure of global auto production sites, or the delay of production plans, the development of self-driving cars may be further delayed, so the cost of such technology is high and the return is low. Experts believe it could be another 10 to 20 years before fully autonomous vehicles appear, given the complexity of the technology.

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