EDAG and Hyundai develop pathbreaking touch-steering wheel concept

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 28 Sep 2019

VR technology and the latest HMI concepts are set to revolutionise the vehicle interior in the future. Modern appearance coupled with simple and safe operation by the driver are the focus of developments here. Taking these requirements into account, the EDAG Group, the world's largest independent engineering service provider, assisted the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center (HMETC) with the development of an innovative virtual cockpit and steering wheel.

The USP of the touch-steering wheel is that it enables the driver to control all vehicle functions from radio volume to seat heating without letting go of the steering wheel.

For distraction-free driving, the EDAG Group's specialists first of all replaced all of the mechanical keys on the steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls in the form of touch displays. For quick and comfortable operation, favourites can be stored on these. The driver can then use them to operate all functions in the car – from radio volume to seat heating – without letting go of the steering wheel. The controls called up via the steering wheel are displayed on a full-screen monitor in the instrument cluster, so there is no need for the driver to look at the steering wheel.

Haptic feedback permits blind operation
The displays are configured in such a way that a simple touch will not immediately activate a function; this will not happen until the user presses the control surface concerned a little harder. As confirmation, the driver receives a button click, which he perceives with his finger.

This haptic feedback permits blind operation while driving. This is realised by means of a haptic feedback actuator developed in-house by the EDAG Group, which was implanted into Hyundai's Virtual Cockpit. The haptic module enables freely programmable feedback patterns, and can be used with displays of almost any size. In addition, it also serves to mount the display and measure finger pressure.

The project was carried out by EDAG's E/E specialists in Fulda with the support of the EDAG brands FEYNSINN and EDAG BFFT Electronics between May and August 2019, and covered, among other things, the complete design, development and production of the steering wheel and its corresponding controls. EDAG says it also carried out the development of the necessary embedded hardware and software and realisation of the graphic user interface (UI) was also carried out by the EDAG Group. This project has enabled the EDAG Group to give an impressive demonstration of its expertise in modern HMI and E/E.