The move to autonomous driving is forcing designers to rethink the way car interiors are laid out. Concepts with funky seating, novel display technologies and lounge-style suites are popping up, but the idea of a personal, removable steering wheel is new. Created as part of the upcoming Future-Type concept from Jaguar Land Rover, Sayer is a removable steering wheel designed to travel with owners as they jump between cars.
Although details about the Sayer wheel are thin, there are a few key ideas in the concept that need unpacking. Jaguar suggests it could become a fixture in your home and turn into a "trusted companion." The wheel has artificial intelligence software on board, capable of completing dealing with "hundreds of tasks." To us, that evokes images of an in-car and in-house virtual assistant, akin to a Google Home or Amazon Echo.
In theory, that means you could tell the steering wheel you have a meeting at 8 am, and the wheel will organize a car to arrive at the door at the right time. It might even suggest which parts of the drive are worth taking control on, and which are best left to the self-driving smarts. It goes without saying, but this is all theoretical at the moment.
The company also says the wheel could signify membership to an on-demand car sharing service, where members can share their own personal car with the community, or have access to cars without actually owning one. Just beware of parties with a bowl full of steering wheels at the door – that isn't car sharing, you're a member of an entirely different club.
The wheel itself is named after Malcolm Sayer, who worked as a designer at Jaguar between 1951 and 1970. It will be on show at the first Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest being held at the Central Saint Martins art, design and technology college in London. It opens on September 8 and runs until September 10.
Source: Jaguar Land Rover