Jaguar Land Rover is developing a steering wheel that could help keep driver’s eyes on the road using by using heat to tell them when to turn.
Partnering with Glasgow University, they’ve come up with something called the sensory steering wheel, where it heats up and cools down to inform drivers where to turn, when to change lanes or even to warn them of an approaching junction.
It’s said to be particularly useful in low visibility driving conditions. The technology has also been applied to the gear-shift paddles to indicate the switch to autonomous driving.
Driver distraction is a major contributor to road accidents around the world and accounts for 10% of all fatal crashes in the USA alone.
The steering wheel can provide indications by rapidly warming or cooling one side by a difference of up to 60-degrees Celcius. Drivers can also adjust the range of temperature change.
Studies have shown that temperature-based instructions could be used for non-urgent notifications such as low fuel warning or upcoming points of interests, instead of audio feedback or vibrations which could be disruptive to the driver’s concentration.