Drivers are becoming more aware that cars are no longer just a pile of four-wheel iron, but also contain more and more advanced technologies. This is especially true for electric cars because most of the features in the car are managed by dedicated software. As these are gaining in popularity, it is no surprise that BMW engineers have applied for a patent on a steering wheel that can change shape to suit the current required driver, which is available online https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2020058178&tab=PCTBIBLIO.
BMW engineers have designed the car's steering wheel, which is a common round shape when the driver uses the vehicle the way we use it today. However, when the driver switches to automatic driving mode, the steering wheel will automatically fold into a more compact form in order to occupy as little space as possible in the cab. However, when the autonomous system needs the driver's assistance, it will automatically fold to its normal shape. This should be sufficient to attract the driver's attention and possibly even prevent a car accident.
The use of such a steering wheel would, according to many experts, bring many positive effects. Numerous studies conducted so far have shown that changing the shape of the steering wheel actually helps to reduce the driver's reaction time. However, since this is only a patent, it is not yet known when the novelty would actually be available in use.