Honda Augmented Driving Concept reinvents the steering wheel
19 December 2019 - Autoblog
With the Detroit Auto Show moving to the summer, the next big stop for automakers will be CES. Among the vehicular reveals is Honda's Augmented Driving Concept.
The company hasn't revealed many details or photos, but what it has shown is almost as adorable as Baby Yoda. It also shows off a new control scheme centered entirely on the steering wheel.
The car is a two-door convertible with a cut-down speedster-style windshield. It looks a little like an extra rounded Honda E with the top cut off. The front fascia is especially cute with its plastic bubble-encased round headlights and badging. The interior is ultra-minimal with two rows of bench seats and no instrumentation or infotainment. The only point of interaction is the steering wheel.
The steering wheel does do some traditional things, specifically turning the car left and right. But Honda has also moved throttle and braking to the wheel, too. You push forward on the wheel to accelerate and pull it backward to slow down. You even start the car with the wheel by tapping the top of it twice.
Like just about any futuristic concept car nowadays, the Augmented Driving Concept does have levels of autonomy. According to Honda, there are eight levels of autonomous driving from primarily human-controlled to fully automated. The company hasn't elaborated as to how the other six levels differ and blend driver involvement. The driver can switch between human-controlled and computer-controlled on demand, and the change-over appears to be initiated by swiping on the steering wheel.
The Honda Augmented Driving Concept will make its full debut at CES between January 7 and January 10. Expect more details to be revealed then.