According to foreign media reports, a BMW patent filed in Germany was recently exposed, patent documents show that BMW for “part of the self-driving two-lane vehicle” designed a distinctive U-shaped “joystick” steering controller.
As can be seen from the patented sketch, the device is a “steering handle” that can be put away unless the passenger no longer wants to control the vehicle using the autonomous driving system.
In addition, the gear selector is now mounted on the left side of the handle, which also has a beacon control under the handle. And each handle has a dialpad installed, at least one of which has the ability to control audio and volume. The patent documents also state that the device needs to be operated with grip force and that it appears that two handles need to be seized.
Reports that the device was designed for the upcoming BMW i4 electric car have not been confirmed. Because the patented technology applied for by carmakers often takes years to mass produce, or may eventually be abandoned.
All new BMW models are now equipped with L1 autopilot technology (driver assistance such as touch avoidance and pedestrian alarm systems), and several models are equipped with L2 autopilot technology, such as lane keeping assistance and automatic parking. BMW’s self-driving technology is collectively known as the BMW Personal CoPilot.
Last year, BMW also successfully test-drove a BMW 7-Series shared car with L4 self-driving technology at the nextGen conference in Munich, Germany.