If the domestic auto market in previous years is the hottest car interconnection, then the last two years of the most attention is undoubtedly the field of self-driving. Bentley recently applied for a design patent in the UK to apply a steering wheel that can be “folded horizontally” inside the newly built car cockpit,media reported. The steering wheel will be suitable for self-driving cars and will be used in L5-class driverless vehicles in the future as a common and legal configuration.
Bentley is expected to produce its first electric car by 2025, possibly as a self-driving electric car, according to the plan. Bentley says the design can be designed to allow for a steering wheel at certain times, leaving valuable interior space.
According to the patent, the steering wheel system unfolds from a pod-shaped pocket on the driver’s door and has a retractable steering wheel grip with trigger function equivalent to throttle and brakes.
It is understood that when the vehicle is in autopilot mode, the design can maximize the use of interior space. For example, seats (including driver’s seats) can rotate 360 degrees and passengers in the car can communicate face-to-face.
While Bentley’s steering wheel is designed for “autopilot” mode, the necessary manual controls are also required when self-driving mode is not feasible or the driver does not want it.
Since this telescopic steering wheel no longer has the steering column necessary for a conventional steering wheel, it can be understood as actually an analog steering wheel.
According to Bentley’s patent documents, the steering wheel system includes multiple input sensors that can send signals to the electronic control unit (ECU) in manual driving mode. This controls the vehicle steering execution system. When the passenger gets off, the steering wheel also shrinks into the “pocket”.