BMW has provided yet another glimpse inside their iNext electric crossover, revealing the steering wheel that has a very unusual polygonal shape, chosen after the company weighed in a large number of factors.
Its geometry is said to be perfect for switching between automated and active driving. By using the optical fibers integrated in the side sections, it sends color signals to drivers, informing them when they have to take over. Upon doing so, they will recognize the steering angle much easier, based on the position of the steering wheel.
The flattened lower part helps drivers avoid fatigue on long journeys by giving them extra legroom. Furthermore, the unique contours of the steering wheel, inspired by motor racing, optimize entry and seating comfort, and provide a better view of the instrument cluster, part of the wide curved display teased by the automaker at the end of spring. The tech feature is customizable, features touch control and non-reflective glass, and will be the dominating feature inside.
Described as their “new technology flagship”, the iNext will enter production from 2021. It will be very quick, with the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration taking around 4 seconds, as BMW previously announced, and will be able to travel for over 600 km (373 miles) in between chargers, which should provide extra peace of mind to owners with range anxiety.
The iNext will be BMW’s next major step into autonomous driving. It will get Level 3 self driving tech, which requires human presence ready to intervene at all times if necessary, and will be used to test Level 4 and Level 5, too, in the future, and those two don’t need any drivers in the cabin at all, to get from A to B.