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[YesAuto Design Decoding] Speaking of steering wheels, I believe everyone is familiar with it. Nowadays, every car brand basically has a unique steering wheel shape. These steering wheel shapes are as deeply rooted as the car brand's LOGO. Even if the central LOGO is blocked, familiar people can quickly identify it. However, how did the steering wheel as a functional part of the car develop to the present? In the long history of automobiles, what are the impressive steering wheel shapes?

Although Karl Benz invented the first car, the car with three wheels and no steering wheel is clearly different from the products on the street today. It wasn't until 1894 that (at least) four wheels plus a steering wheel seemed to be standard for passenger vehicles. No matter how the shape of the car evolves, steering wheels can be found on all production cars today.

After more than a hundred years of evolution, today's car styling has undergone earth-shaking changes compared to the original. Both in terms of technology and luxury, it has already surpassed the level of “food and clothing”. So in the past hundred years, what changes have taken place in the steering wheel of the car?

In the early development of the automobile industry, although there were many different brands, the appearance of the steering wheel was as similar to the appearance of the vehicle. Basically all cars adopted a larger diameter, four-spoke or three-spoke circular steering wheel shape. Most of the steering wheel area is hollowed out, and only a small part of the middle is made solid for connecting the steering column.

The steering wheel of the Bentley R-Type can be said to be the more traditional steering wheel design of that era. Not only is the size larger, the internal lines are also common metal trims, although the shape of the three-spoke is slightly different from that of the four-spoke, but in fact We can put them into a unified category.

You know that the Citroen DS19 was released in 1955. Even after more than sixty years, it is still difficult for me to accept this single-spoke steering wheel design. It's not that it is ugly in design, or that it has any problems with its functions, but because it is too special, it is unacceptable for the time being.

Has anyone found that compared with the Fiat 124 steering wheel. The steering wheels of Citroen DS and Bentley R-Type look larger in diameter and will be more conspicuous in the cab? In fact, this is not an illusion, but since the 1950s, as mechanical hydraulic assistance began to be installed in passenger cars, the force required to turn the steering wheel was significantly reduced, so that a larger diameter steering wheel was not needed to make The driver is more labor-saving.

Oldsmobile is a relatively unfamiliar car brand to Chinese consumers, but it is not the same in the United States. Its brand under General Motors has a history of 107 years and is a well-known pioneer of reform in the automotive industry. Many new technologies have been introduced for the first time. The applications are all on its models.

Why do you say that? Because the driver’s seat airbag is usually installed in the middle of the steering wheel, whether it is an airbag or a detonating device, a certain amount of space is needed to bury it. The previous practice space in the middle of the steering wheel was too small. It is impossible to install an airbag in such a small space.

From Oldsmobile Toronado to the first generation Audi TT to the current BMW M4, the advancement of airbag technology has also brought new possibilities to steering wheel design, and smaller and smaller airbag assemblies have left designers behind The more and more room for play, the overall coordination between the steering wheel and the interior is getting higher and higher.

Whether it is consumers, the media, or even engineers of other brands, it seems that most people find it difficult to accept a steering wheel design like Citroen, and the proud French seem to be reluctant to discuss with you why they want to design a steering wheel like this.

However, the Citroen C5 driver’s seat is not a symmetrical circular airbag, but an axisymmetric shield-shaped airbag. In order to maintain the safety and effectiveness of its ejection, the center that does not follow the rotation of the steering wheel is designed. section.

So someone may ask, where is the airbag installed with the tachometer in the middle of the steering wheel? In fact, it can also be seen from the roll cage and racing seats in the cabin that this car is not for your daily driving use. Therefore, we guess that it will most likely not have airbags. After all, there is no such thing. The news of the car accident was announced.

However, the domestic version of the steering wheel we are going to talk about today has not undergone design changes. At first glance, everyone might think that the steering wheel of the Peugeot 508 is just not very round, and nothing else seems special.

This design gives current car designers a new idea. Before the airbag technology has undergone revolutionary changes, its installation location may only be in the center of the steering wheel in a short period of time, so how to change according to the overall interior decoration To build a different steering wheel? Perhaps irregular steering wheels will become more and more common in the future.

to sum up:

In the course of the development of the automobile industry for more than 100 years, with the changes and progress of science and technology, the car styling has also undergone tremendous changes. What will the future car steering wheel develop into? I believe that with the development of autonomous driving, the design of the steering wheel will usher in an earth-shaking change, which is expected.