We’ll let you make your own “reinvent the wheel” jokes. The subject is a newly discovered patent filing from BMW describing a “steering handle”—basically, a strange little yoke that feels like the next worst thing to a standard wheel.
BMW envisages this new wheel/handle/yoke as something that would be used in an “at least partially autonomously driving double-track motor vehicle.” That’s patentspeak for something like a Level 3 or higher autonomous car, where a standard steering wheel would take up too much space when the car is in autonomous mode.
BMW knows we will all want to put our books and tablets in that space where the steering wheel is now, and this is one partial solution. Specifically, BMW said in the filing that a handle like this means “as much free space as possible is to be provided for the driver . . . with the result that he/she can read a newspaper, for example, or can manage emails, for example, by means of a tablet or the like with the aid of the display unit.”
For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver.