This steering wheel uses robotics to help drivers, not get rid of them

While the future of driving looks to be marching steadily towards full automation and reducing human involvement, one group of researchers is trying to work out how man and machine can better work together. And it all starts with a squishy, robotic steering wheel.

The researchers and designers from the Royal College of Art have been looking at how AI and robotics can be used to help drivers while they’re still behind the wheel. The goal, according to Freya Probst, one of its members specialising in electronics and materials, was “to take a different view on how to think about transhumanism, and how it could be used to benefit people”, instead of phasing them out completely. “The focus was on the future of work, and how humans and machines will work together,” adds Vali Lalioti, another member of the team whose expertise is in computer science and design.