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PRESTIGE – Interactive Steering Wheel

CEA Liten and Piezotech Arkema (France)

This demonstrator is an instrumented steering wheel developed to assist drivers. It includes printed sensors and actuators integrated into the rim to create human machine interface through vibrotactile haptic feedback. Printed actuators based on electroactive fluorinated polymers will indeed stimulate tactile sensations of the driver, allowing eyes-free interactions for validation of command. They will be strategically localized on the wheel while respecting the technical requirements of security and aesthetics codes to fit to the rim.

Haptic feedback has become essential to minimise driver distraction and to optimise user experience. Feedback effects on localised places of curved surface are required. To do so, polymer-based piezoelectric transducers are printed on conformable plastic foil such as polyurethane. This kind of substrate can easily be integrated on the steering wheel rim, under the leather. The electronic board required to sense and drive piezoelectric elements has been developed and integrated in the center of the steering wheel. A user graphic interface has been developed to highlight the functionalities of piezo elements used as sensors (touch, force sensors) and as actuators (vibrotactile haptic feedback).

Target Group

  • Automotive
  • Consumer
  • Household Appliances
  • HMI

Attractiveness of the Product

  • This material has the potential to bridge gaps between advanced techniques in design and materials sciences.
  • The use of Electroactive polymer ink, printed as thin layers (few μm) on plastic foil makes it possible to design and fabricate new, thin, flexible and large area objects that could not embed vibrating functionality with traditional bulky actuators.
  • Printing on plastic foil is low cost, large area and high throughput process.

Printed Electronics Components

  • Printed conductive path
  • Printed sensor (touch, pressure)
  • Printed electrode
  • Printed piezo elements
  • Printed interconnection

Funding Source
European Commission