Jaguar has given us a vision of driving in 2040 with its Future Type concept car at its annual Tech Fest in London, but it’s not the car itself which is drawing attention, but the steering wheel inside it.
Dubbed ‘Sayer’, the heart of the wheel is its smart AI and advanced speech recognition, which takes the technology we currently have in the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home and makes it smarter, more responsive and reactive, and more important to our daily lives.
But this isn’t just a smart speaker that you talk to in your car; Jaguar wants you to take it everywhere with you. The wheel can be removed from vehicles – such as the firm’s Future Type concept – and taken with you, be it to sit in your home and work as a smart speaker, or as a travel companion in your bag.
Jaguar says it'll also be linked to your other connected devices, including your kitchen white goods and smart home controls, and to the outside world, to keep you up to date and even perform chores and tedious tasks without you having to ask.
Sayer wheel gallery
The only wheel you own
The Future Type concept car for 2040 is fully autonomous – and the clever steering wheel may be the only part of it you own. It'll essentially be the key to the car, but that car may be a vehicle that's used by others in your community.
With the wheel storing your personal profile, the car will adapt automatically to your needs as soon as you engage it, giving you a personalized experience even if it's being used by many different people.
But while the car industry is working towards an autonomous future, Jaguar says its Sayer wheel will provide a traditional driving experience when required, for those who love being behind the wheel and in control.