TRW’s steering wheel concept for automated driving in Rinspeed XchangE (Tesla evolution)

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW) has unveiled a new steering wheel concept, which is being shown on the Rinspeed XchangE showcar at Geneva Motor Show. The steering wheel offers multi-functional features including hands on/off detection that aids with semi-automated and automated driving situations.

Guido Hirzmann, group leader, new technology, Mechatronic, commented, “Rinspeed’s steer-by-wire XchangE vehicle featuring TRW’s steering wheel system opens up a world of possibilities to the driver. 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.

Rinspeed_XchangE (3)“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.”

Rinspeed_XchangE (2)TRW’s steering wheel concept functions for automated driving include, ‘Drive Mode Manager’ (DMM) display located at the top of the wheel illuminates ‘A’ when the vehicle is in automated mode. Upon touching the steering wheel, ‘M’ (manual) becomes illuminated .

Rinspeed_XchangE (1)Upon touching’Push to Drive’ or ‘PTD’, control is given back to the driver. Again if the driver’s hands are taken off the wheel, DMM display automatically changes from ‘M’ to ‘A’ and the car continues to drive in automated mode.

Rinspeed_XchangE (4)For gear shifts, one can switch from park, neutral, drive and reverse using the relevant switches on the steering wheel. Turn indicator switches are illuminated white (ambient lighting) and when activated, the corresponding left and right arrows flash.

Rinspeed_XchangE (5)Electronic Horn System (EHS) is activated by touching a conductive area on the steering wheel airbag cover. Hirzmann concluded, “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. The technology is part of TRW’s efforts to support the path to automated driving and promote the car of the future.”

TRW AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS CORP. STEERING WHEEL