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Technical necessity and user adoption will drive steering developments

With the advent of driverless cars imminent, Mark Bunger, VP of Research at Lux Research asks how long before steering technology undergoes the same revolutionary change seen in products like telephones?

Milestones in history of technology are often marked by the introduction of new interfaces. Telephones went from dials to buttons to touchscreens, and now increasingly use voice (like Siri or Google Assistant) and vision (Apple’s FaceID). Similarly, televisions went from dials to complex remotes with dozens of buttons, to voice UIs like Alexa. These interfaces are so pervasive that we cling to their use metaphorically, long after the original technology has vanished: we still ‘dial’ the phone even though pushbuttons were introduced in 1963, and we still ‘hang up’, thanks to the original candlestick design with a hanging earpiece, predominant from the 1890s until the 1940s when the cradle-mounted hand-piece was introduced. One need only to look around oneself to see dozens of examples of technologies that are no longer used, but persist solely for reasons of historical inertia. Could the steering wheel become completely virtual in the same way?…

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