BMW is about to introduce a number of advancements such as automated driving features and many more in its iNEXT by 2021. The polygonal steering wheel is also one such feature that is teased as the curved display by BMW.
The rim of the wheel is flattened in both the lower and upper sections and rounded at the sides to provide a comfortable hand rest. As per BMW, the benefit of this geometry can be felt when switching from highly automated to active driving.
In comparison to the regular circular shape, the polygonal shape makes it much easier to recognize the steering angle based on the position of the steering wheel. The moment the driver re-takes control of the vehicle, they can detect the current steering angle instantly – both visually and by means of touch.
There are optical fibers inserted in the side sections of the steering wheel that informs the driver of availability of highly automated driving functions by means of colored signals, as well as indicating situations where the driver is required to take over active control of the vehicle themselves.
Also, the flattening of the lower part of the steering wheel makes it comfortable for the driver to enter and exit the vehicle. It also enhances freedom of movement over long distances as it enables the driver to bend both their legs when using the Active Cruise Control function.
It is expected that BMW must be coming up with more insights into the iNEXT as the launch date approaches close by.