German car maker BMW appears to be in the process of inventing a collapsible steering wheel for autonomous cars.
Patent drawings obtained by a BMW owners forum show the steering wheel is designed to change from a perfect circle to the shape of a football.
The idea, apparently, is that the more compact design gives those in the driver’s seat more knee room once the car takes over.
The first image below shows the steering wheel in its normal format. The second image below shows the steering wheel when collapsed.
There is no guarantee the collapsible BMW sterling wheel will go into production; car makers regularly apply for patents for technology they might one day use but which could be years away from production – or discarded altogether.