Touchscreen steering wheel in the works

When do you think we'll see this in cars?
Jun 13, 2011

TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - Touch screen steering wheel under development

Touchscreen technology is becoming prevalent nowadays. It's in mobile phones, tablet computers, and even in cars via state-of-the-art infotainment systems. Soon, however, the technology could also be in your car's steering wheel.

According to PhysOrg.com, researchers from the University of Stuttgart, University of Duisburg-Essen and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence have created a prototype steering wheel that uses a touchscreen system to allow drivers to control things like "the radio or navigate a map without having to take their eyes off the road."

The steering wheel is reportedly made out of an 11-millimeter thick acrylic lined with LEDs. An infrared camera attached to the bottom where the steering wheel column should normally be detects reflections when the screen is touched.

To create the prototype, the researchers asked the project's participants what movements and gestures they currently used on their technological devices. Once the more than 20 different commands and gestures have been established, the researchers had the participants try the steering wheel in a simulator and based on their findings, the prototype steering wheel reduced the amount of time a driver needed to take his or her eyes off the road.

Continue reading below ↓

The researchers are reportedly talking with automotive companies and looking at the possibility of getting the touchscreen steering wheel technology into vehicles in the near future.

Do you think touchscreen steering wheels are really safe?

Photo from SXC.hu

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