The AutoEvolution portal found a new application from Toyota in the database of the US Patent Office. Judging by the description and sketches from the document, the automaker has developed a new technology for tactile feedback: the steering wheel increases or decreases in diameter with certain driver actions. For example, if he is distracted from the road or makes a maneuver that the “smart” system considers dangerous, the steering wheel “inflates” and increases in size, thereby giving feedback.
From the description it follows that the technology can be used on cars equipped with advanced electronic assistants, works in conjunction with radars, cameras and a variety of sensors, and also includes artificial intelligence that collects and analyzes data. The diagrams in the patent application show a handlebar that appears to have a compact pump built into it to increase the rim.
There are also variants of situations in which the rim increases in size. In one of the drawings, it was repaired that the steering wheel “inflates” during a dangerous lane change, the other shows how a car turns into an “oncoming lane” – in this case, the steering wheel also reacts to the driver’s actions, which can lead to an accident.
AutoEvolution believes that Toyota will bring this idea to life and implement it in the next generation of vehicles. However, not all technologies patented by automakers reach the “series”.
Among Toyota’s patents that have never been implemented are turn signals for a car that drives sideways. It is proposed to install four turn indicators at the rear on each side: if the driver is going to go strictly to the right sideways, then the turn signals will flash in turn from the leftmost to the rightmost. In addition, the wheel arches will be illuminated on the side in which the car is moving.