Whenever BMW offers us a glimpse of their latest vehicle in development, we can’t help but get a thrill. The recent sneak peek of the 2021 BMW iNext steering wheel, however, had us scratching our heads and gave us far more questions than it did answers. What makes this steering wheel so different? Will the 2021 BMW iNext be able to handle level 3 autonomous driving?
The first thing to note when you look at the sneak peek that BMW gave us is the shape of the steering wheel. We’re all used to a traditional steering wheel being round. This steering wheel, however, definitely does not conform to the norm! Instead, it has a wheel that has a much more polygonal in shape. Shaped more like a hexagon, this steering wheel is supposedly designed to make it easier to see the gauge clusters on the dash.
This is good because apparently there are a lot of screens to look at in this next BMW. The company claims that there is also another great reason why those chose to forego the classic round shape: to help the driver know what steering angle the vehicle is at if they choose to take over control.
Yes, this BMW is going to have level 3 autonomous driving as an option. It is, in fact, going to be the first BMW to do so. What does level 3 autonomous driving mean? There are 5 autonomous driving levels and level 3 means that this vehicle will be able to fully take over driving in specific conditions. For example, if you’re on a highway or interstate that has all traffic going one way with no expected railroad or vehicle crossings, the 2021 BMW iNext steering wheel has LEDs on the wheel which will light up and tell you that autonomous driving is an option. The innovative shape has certainly piqued our interest.