• Apr 10, 2008
The latest gizmo from Japan's Takata will tell you where to go, but not like those verbally abusive digital keychains from the '90s. The Takata CSW steering wheel is designed to interface with sensors in your vehicle and display different messages on an LCD screen in the 12 o'clock position. There are already lights and sirens to let you know if your door is ajar or the washer fluid is low, but the CSW wheel's best trick is that it will talk to the Navigon 7100 navigation system, should you have one. It's an interesting cross-brand lashup that is pushing the envelope of aftermarket integration.

The screen in the wheel works in conjunction with the larger screen in the navigation unit to display instructions, though the improvement over just the Navigon would likely be sufficient. Both the wheel and the Navi can reportedly poll vehicle sensors, though we're not sure exactly how, so the systems would be more aware of what the driver is doing beyond merely position data. Both companies hope the wheel will reduce driver distraction, though we're not convinced that looking down to the wheel rim is any safer or more convenient than the slight gaze diversion to the customary upper center of the dashboard. We don't know of any manufacturer plans to OEM-issue these units, but the effort could portend a future convergence in the gadget galaxy.

[Source: Navigadget via Kicking Tires; Photo: SoundDomain]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This reminds me of the steering wheel you could get with the telephone buttons on it from the 1980's.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For once, GM has a better system. It's called the HUD.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I recognize the steering wheel from my 300. Interesting they chose to use a wheel from that car as the navigation system in my car also uses the small digital screen between the tach. & speedo to display redundant directions. So my eyes are never looking below the level of the gauges, which in line of sight is not that far down from the top of the steering wheel anyway! I use it all the time, it's smart.

      Below where the compass/temp are in this photo is where the directions show up in a 300 w/factory nav.

      http://media.automotive.com/evox/stilllib/chrysler/300/2007/4sa/62.jpg
      • 6 Years Ago
      My wife has a Chrysler 300C and I recognize this steering wheel from Chrysler's parts bin. I didn't know Japan had the same models.

      This is kinda cool but I think its too problematic.

      #1 she added a rubber studded grip to the wheel because she compalined about her hand aching - one of those would cover the screen.

      #2 it would be smarter to put a small lcd screen on the windshield itself like an H.U.D.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This was covered on SoundDomain months ago. Almost all linked articles state no OEM's have adapted it, but SoundDomain has visual proof that BMW has already adapted this for the new 1-Series.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Two things:

      1. Why hasn't anyone done a heads-up display navigation system yet? Geez, Pontiac had HUDs in their cars before navigation was even popular, it can't be that hard...

      2. My preferred method: print out Google Maps directions, place upside-down on top of dashboard. The mirrored directions can be a bit confusing, but other than that it works like a charm :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        GM has put H.U.D's on many STS, XLR and Corvettes but they are just turn indicators and a speedometer.

        A GPS MAP is far too distracting. The best placement for it however is at eye- road level (i.e. S550, Honda Accord, Infiniti M45,etc).

        You put a transparent GPS map in front of the driver's eyes and I guarrantee you a car accident within a day.