The way technology and its application are progressing in the fast-paced automotive world, the way we drive cars now will not be the same in the coming years. In fact, it will change so drastically that car makers are beginning to work on various concepts based on future needs and lifestyles. Whatever changes in architecture, propulsion systems, interior functions, connectivity or design are going to take place, it can be difficult for us to predict where this tech-savvy design-led industry will end up, but one thing is for sure: the ubiquitous steering wheel isn’t going anywhere.
UK-based Jaguar Land Rover envisions a future where cars are autonomous, fully connected, electric, and shared. Its newest concept shares thoughts of what might happen to the steering wheel. The concept previews what is an intelligent removable steering wheel which can double as a personal assistant. The Jaguar Sayer concept could become the only part of a car that motorists will actually need to own in future.
The concept is named after Malcolm Sayer, a prominent designer who worked for Jaguar between 1951 and 1970. Some of his most notable designs include the race-winning D-Type, the iconic E-Type, and the XJS.
The steering wheel takes the shape of an oval-shaped, spoke-less unit with an elegant brushed metal face and two integrated information displays. It is designed to remain docked in the driver’s home when it’s not in use. It records each user’s agenda and sends them reminders when appropriate. For example, it knows when the user needs to wake up earlier than usual to drive to a meeting, and it relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to decide when to send an autonomous car to pick them up based on approximately how much time it takes them to get ready. It also uses navigation data to suggest where the driver might want to take the wheel, such as when traveling on a twisty road without a lot of traffic.
While the future is autonomous, Jaguar stresses motorists will still want to take the wheel from time to time. Car-sharing programs will give them a much wider selection of models to drive on a regular basis. It will be possible to reserve a humble sedan for the daily commute, a powerful coupe for a weekend getaway, a pick-up truck for a quick run to the hardware store, and a crossover for a week-long vacation with the family.
The Sayer concept will make its debut during the first-ever Jaguar – Land Rover Tech Fest which will take place in London from September 8 until September 10. It will later equip a concept named Future-Type built to explore what mobility will look like in 2040 and beyond.