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TRW Introduces New Steering Wheel Concept

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March 6, 2014—TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., based in Livonia, Mich., unveiled a new steering wheel concept at the Geneva International Motor Show Monday.

The steering wheel offers a number of features, including hands on/off detection to help support drivers during semi-automated and automated driving situations.

A "drive mode manager" display located at the top of the steering wheel indicates whether the car is in automated mode or if the driver is ready to take back control of the vehicle.

The driver can also shift gears using relevant switches on 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," said Guido Hirzmann, group leader of new technology at Mechatronic. "The technology is part of TRW’s efforts to support the path to automated driving and promote the car of the future.”

The concept will be shown on the Rinspeed XchangE showcar this week.

“With the integrated hands on/off sensor and flexible positioning of the wheel, the driver can choose whether to drive the vehicle himself, pass control of the vehicle to the front passenger, or have the vehicle drive itself in automated mode,” Hirzmann said. “Furthermore, 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 center console and integrate the gear shift into the steering wheel.”

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