BMW iNext: A steering wheel designed for the autonomous vehicle

The steering wheel of the BMW iNext. — Picture courtesy of BMW via AFP-Relaxnews
The steering wheel of the BMW iNext. — Picture courtesy of BMW via AFP-Relaxnews

MUNICH, July 22 — BMW’s first electric SUV, expected for 2021, is slowly taking shape, and the German manufacturer has released a first look at its steering wheel.

The BMW iNext is the first vehicle in the partially-autonomous series being developed by the German manufacturer, which is why its new steering wheel has been specially designed to switch between highly-autonomous and active-steering modes.

The idea is to quickly be able to detect, via its design and flattened bottom, the angle at which the wheels are turned when retaking control of the vehicle, therefore preventing the need for sudden movements and lowering accident risk.

The wheel was also designed to improve vision over the dashboard and increase driver comfort. Lighted indicators in the sides of the steering wheel also inform the driver of the availability of automatised driving functions or when it is necessary to retake control of the vehicle.

Although directly descended from the Vision iNext electric, the autonomous SUV concept first unveiled in 2018, the BMW iNext will not be appearing in the ring with the Audi e-tron and the Mercedes EQC before 2021. — AFP-Relaxnews

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