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Thread: New touch-screen steering wheel interface increases safety and maximizes convenience

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    New touch-screen steering wheel interface increases safety and maximizes convenience


    German engineers have developed a touch screen interface for a steering wheel that allows a driver to control the car’s functions via gestures on a thin (11mm) piece of acrylic. In addition to making these functions more convenient and accessible, researchers also believe that it will decrease accidents caused when drivers take their eyes off the wheel/road in order to change a song, turn on the AC, or look at a map.

    The prototype, developed by researchers from several different German universities, could potentially replace many of the gauges that have traditionally been located behind the steering wheel in the dash. Its multi-touch screen is designed to identify gestures that correspond to certain car functions, most of which could be done using only the driver’s thumbs (keeping the hands on the wheel at all times). So, zooming in on a map or changing songs could be a matter of a couple of intuitive multi-touch gestures.

    Future designs could also interface with head’s up displays that could be projected on the windshield, further reducing the need/temptation to take one’s eyes off the road. It could also interface with traffic updates and proximity sensors to warn drivers when it is especially important to be alert under certain driving conditions. And researchers believe that the airbag will deploy successfully by breaking the thin acrylic screen in the event of an accident.

    Special thank you to JohnWPB for calling my attention to this interesting development. For more information, check out the original article here. Please leave comments below if you have any thoughts about this topic, and if any of you see developments that might be relevant to this site and blog-worthy, please feel free to PM me.
    Last edited by ChasPhillips; 06-22-2011 at 11:22 AM.

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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    unfortunately, your link is only for the image posted in this thread...

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    Here is the full link to the original article. What's nice is they mention that you would not need to draw with your finger across the wheel, but instead would be able to just use your thumbs, and not remove your grip from the wheel. I could picture something like the iPod's gestures, and be able to FF/RW and such by just moving your thumb in circles.
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    Hmmm - so the display rotates with the wheel.
    There was an auto-transmission gear selector that once did that.... (Not that it's quite the same thing, and things have changed..)

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    Not so good with most new cars having an airbag on the steering wheel

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    The researchers claim that the screen will be thin enough to break if an airbag needs to deploy... You'll just end up with a bunch of broken acrylic on your lap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChasPhillips View Post
    The researchers claim that the screen will be thin enough to break if an airbag needs to deploy... You'll just end up with a bunch of broken acrylic on your lap.
    There was a little fine print in that claim:
    "Most of the acrylic will be on your lap, the rest will be lodged in your eyes and chest"


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    Also, the cost to replace airbags is high enough. Add a custom designed wheel with a "special" touchscreen. Im sure that would up the price at least 2k.

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    sounds dangerous. Probably wont go into producion in new cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by customgadz View Post
    there was a little fine print in that claim:
    "most of the acrylic will be on your lap, the rest will be lodged in your eyes and chest"


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