Volvo Slideable Steering Wheel
Notice the space on the dash for the system to slide easily

Volvo has patented a new slideable steering wheel system that, along with the instrument cluster, could move from one side to the other in a vehicle.

Filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office during early 2019, the patent was only published in late September.

With its new system, Volvo has essentially brought automotive fiction into reality, well, almost. But it does seem possible that cars, at least ones with a higher degree of autonomous driving capability, from the Swedish carmaker could have the technology in the future.

However, we might not have to wait that long to see it put to use. There are cars today that use throttle-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems. By including steering-by-wire tech as well, any physical linkage would be deemed unnecessary.

So, the steering wheel and the instrument cluster could be moved from one side of the car to the other or even left in the middle, like in a McLaren F1 and Speedtail or the upcoming Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 supercar.

But the middle position might only be for situations where the car has complete control of the driving and seems a logical solution than having the steering wheel completely folded away like some concept cars have proposed.

As for the pedals, cars with Volvo slideable steering wheel system are expected to have controls on both front passenger footwells. But, the future could bring in surprising developments like pressure-sensitive pads in place of physical pedals.

One additional benefit with the slideable steering wheel system is that Volvo would not have to worry about engineering vehicles to suit right- and left-hand-drive markets and thus save a truckload of money as a result of that.

Volvo Slideable Steering Wheel

  • Volvo has patented the slideable steering wheel system
  • Even the instrument cluster slides along with the steering
  • Patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Working Of The Tech
There will be no physical linkages between the car’s components and its controls
Volvo Slideable Steering Wheel And Console
Steering wheel can even be left in the middle if necessary
Volvo Slideable Steering Wheel Patent
No complex engineering would be needed for products of left- and right-hand-drive markets

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