Jaguar has revealed the Future-Type - its vision of the car for 2040 and beyond, equipped with what it calls the steering wheel’s future: an artificially intelligent, voice-activated steering wheel that's removable from the car.
The Future-Type is fully autonomous and is a virtual representation of what cars will become when shared rather than owned outright. The concept was revealed at Jaguar Land Rover's first Tech Fest event today.
The car has a narrow body with 2+1 seating, which is intended to optimise urban driving and parking. There is also an option for face-to-face seating for socialising in autonomous-driving mode.
Jaguar design director Ian Callum described it as “an advanced research project” and said it offered an “insight into the potential for driving and car ownership in the future”.
The steering wheel device is named Sayer, after famed Jaguar designer Malcolm Sayer. It will be the only part of the car owned by the driver in a future where mobility solutions replace car ownership.
The Sayer is designed to be brought into its owner’s home and used in a similar fashion to Amazon’s voice-command device Alexa. It can even know what’s in your fridge and order your groceries, as connectivity in cars reaches new heights in the coming years.
Jaguar said the wheel is, in essence, a member card for its on-demand service club, which would offer sole ownership or the option of car-sharing.
The company claims that the Sayer will calculate your journey based on the time you get up and will offer control of the car to the driver at points when it thinks the journey will be fun to drive.