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Toyota's New Diameter Adjusting Steering Wheel Puts Tesla's Yoke To Shame

Toyota is trying its best with the imminent transition to electric vehicles (EVs). We’ve already seen their new cars and how cool they look. One thing we didn’t expect was this: a totally new steering wheel – with adjustable diameter!
New Toyota Diameter Adjusting Steering Wheel 6 photos
Toyota Diameter Adjusting Steering WheelToyota Diameter Adjusting Steering WheelToyota Diameter Adjusting Steering WheelToyota Diameter Adjusting Steering WheelToyota Diameter Adjusting Steering Wheel
A new United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filling named US 11242081 B1 shows the Japanese company is preparing for a new era – that of vehicles that can drive themselves everywhere.

Who would’ve thought the day will come when your steering wheel will be able to adjust its size? Well, Toyota did and now it plans on implementing it. This new type of steering wheel will also be able to automatically increase or decrease its diameter based solely on driving behavior.

The document linked down below shows driving assistance systems today are a bit overwhelming and can actually end up as being dangerous. The Japanese carmaker points out drivers can be distracted by the steering wheel pulling in a direction against their will. This can also become threatening in winter or in heavy summer rain when roads are especially slippery.

Toyota wants its new steering wheel to give immediate feedback to drivers by changing its diameter. When a person grips the steering wheel, and the car detects an abnormal movement it will start inflating temporarily with the help of a pump.

This means there will be new tactile feedback. Moreover, this procedure will give the driver more control by increasing the friction. The opposite will also be true. When friction is decreased, the steering wheel may be automatically rotated toward a correct direction with reduced resistance by the driver. Decreasing the steering wheel size can also confirm the driver is following the correct path and doesn’t have to do any other maneuvers.

This whole new system will come with a plethora of other in-car sensors, radars, and cameras and will also bring artificial intelligence on board as a mean of collecting and analyzing data.

This new technology will be available on future autonomous cars but will also serve as a new safety system in next-gen Toyota vehicles.

Editor's note: Gallery shows photos of a USPTO filling and other Toyota models or concepts.

 Download attachment: Toyota's New Diameter Adjusting Steering Wheel (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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