JLR Steering ADAS Blows Hot and Cold

Jaguar Land Rover is exploring the use of steering wheels that rapidly heat or cool down as ways of telling drivers when to turn left or right.

The carmaker claims the new ADAS could help road safety by keeping the motorist’s eyes on the road and would be particularly useful in conditions of poor visibility. Its research, in partnership with Glasgow University, has created a ‘sensory steering wheel’, parts of which can be quickly heated and cooled to keep drivers informed about where to turn, when to change lane or to warn of an approaching junction.

The technology has also been applied to the gear-shift paddles to indicate when hand over from the driver to autonomous control in future self-driving vehicles is complete. JLR pointed to studies that suggest temperature-based instructions could also be used for non-urgent notifications, where vibrations could be deemed unnecessarily attention grabbing, for example as a warning when fuel is running low, or for upcoming events, such as points of interest.

Alexandros Mouzakitis, JLR electrical research senior manager, said: “Research has shown people readily understand the heating and cooling dynamics to denote directions and the subtlety of temperature change can be perfect for certain feedback that doesn’t require a more intrusive audio or vibration-based cue.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_



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