One day, this could be the only part of a car you will own.
With self-driving cars due to shake up the auto industry in the coming years, gearheads are fearing that the traditional steering wheel could become obsolete. In response, Jaguar Land Rover has revealed its vision of the future of the steering wheel to ensure its survival. Meet Sayer, an AI-controlled steering wheel that will feature in a future Jaguar concept car called the Future-Type. Due to be shown off at the inaugural Tech Fest in London this month, Sayer is a voice-activated wheel that looks drastically different to a conventional steering wheel.
Jaguar has designed the concept steering wheel for a future where car ownership would be a thing of the past. Essentially, Sayer would be the only part of the car you would own, and could be transported and hooked up to any autonomous car on the fly. Described by Jaguar as a “beautifully sculpted piece of art,” the minimalistic design is completely devoid of physical buttons or displays. Instead, information is presented on the swish brushed aluminium finish. There’s also a single button located on top of the wheel, but Jaguar has yet to reveal its function. It also acts as a personal assistant that can carry out hundreds of tasks.
For example, Sayer could connect to an on-demand service club that offers either sole membership or car sharing, and plan your day accordingly. So if you had an urgent meeting at 8 am the following day two hours away from home, you could relay this information to Sayer from the comfort of your living room. The wheel would then work out when you should get up and work out the ideal time for an autonomous car to arrive at your door. Keeping purists in mind, it will even advise which parts of the journey you might enjoy driving yourself. The concept steering wheel is named after Jaguar designer Malcolm Sayer, who worked for the British automaker between 1951 and 1970.
Jaguar’s Sayer concept steering wheel will be shown at Tech Fest 2017 from September 8–10, where companies will be showing new technology used “to make a positive difference.” Attendees at the free-to-enter festival “can fast forward to the future and glimpse a world where cars drive themselves and vehicles are shared, not owned.”