Haptic Steering Wheel for Autoliv/Prestige

This steering wheel concept derives from our participation in the Horizon 2020 project called PRESTIGE. It was an EU wide collaboration between designers, material scientists, material suppliers, end-users and manufacturers, to explore the role that novel materials play in design-driven innovation.

The concept is based on the idea of using the steering wheel as an input & output device. Different zones with integrated piezoelectric actuators let you perform swipe, tap and press commands or deliver haptic input confirmation and alert signals.

Piezoelectric actuators

Piezoelectric materials are touch sensitive but can also vibrate. Therefore this one material can be used both ways for receiving and for sending signals. Researchers from CEA – Liten and Arkema developed this material further to improve its sensitivity and vibrating performannce.

These actuator were screen printed on a stretchable tpe foil so that they can be applied onto the double-curved surfaces of the steering wheel rims.

Tactile zoning

To make it easier for the user to sense where the active & vibrating areas are located we experimented with embossing different textures into the steering wheel leather skin. Furthemore we explored if different textures deliver a distiguishable sensation in the palm of your hand.

Project assistants: Markus Mau, Hadrien Fouin, Anna Röder, Cheng-Yo Lee, Felix Pape, Agatha Sowinski (photography), Nina Eder, Valerie Feiertag

Special mentions: Christian Forsberg / Autoliv – Sweden, Laurent Groleau / Autoliv – France, Antoine Latour / CEA Liten – France, Thibaut Soulestin / Arkema – France, Katie Beverley / PDR – UK, Dong-Bach / University of Glasgow – UK

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 761112