In2tec accelerates advanced steering wheel HMI systems which are the heart of the vehicle control system. Our low-profile steering wheel utilises advanced and patented flexible electronics, moving the boundaries to both design and user-experience via our steering wheel HMI technologies.
In2tec has been instrumental for F1, motorsport, hyper car, and niche automotive manufacturers to gain the ability to create steering wheel systems that are sleek in profile, extremely light, functional, and with high mechanical strength. Our flexible electronics and innovative switching technologies combined, deliver an ultra-thin profile complex curve construction.
Our technologies improve the ergonomics of the steering wheel for the way a driver accesses information and controls functions in the vehicle, with the intuitive controls positioned on a low-profile, natural hands-on-wheel driving position. Driver-relevant information is presented with smart illumination and secret-til-lit capacitive and haptic technologies, giving all the required functionality on a perceived clutter-free wheel.
In2tec’s Design and Engineering Team understand steering wheel requirements, as functional vehicle control systems and then aligning these to driver convenience and expectations. Our vision in the creation of our steering wheel concept was to address both the increasing demand for exceptional user experience in a niche/hyper car market, and not only meet current and emerging advancements in technology, but future ones too. These are set to become more critical as the industry continues towards drivers being able to take direct control of functions which are also being designed into autonomous vehicles. All of this requires steering wheels to be designed differently than they are today. With advancing development of autonomous driving modes and oncoming retracting steering wheels, In2tec’s steering wheel concept demonstrates how we are primed to facilitate the future.
- ‘Free form’ shape of the wheel
A level of concave and convex surfacing, enabled with In2tec’s technological breakthroughs on durable flexible electronic assemblies and solutions which are not possible with rigid or semi-rigid printed circuit boards, provides for ultra-thin wheel profiles via utilisation of every area of real estate in the shell. Our flexi-circuit assemblies and data communications conform within the shape and curves of the wheel shell, thus delivering significant reductions in profile and weight, and advances unrivalled ergonomic design possibilities.
- Secret-til-lit capacitive touch with haptic technologies
Allows the driver to perform functions within a finger stroke of their driving position, without overloading their visual environment. Secret-til-lit technology provides driver-required information in a smart way, by independently illuminating only the functions the driver needs to be aware of or that require a driver decision.
Implementation of haptic touch, along with capacitive touch in a steering wheel environment provide the driver with definitive physical feedback in response to their action. Haptic technologies embedded in the wheel structure provide this system. The complex challenge to integrate a set of comprehensive electronics in a small space has been made possible by the combination of flat shielded twisted pair conformable wiring, and our innovative flexible electronics solutions.
- Innovative guiding-light
The reduction in space previously required for the electronics has allowed for creative illumination around the steering wheel, providing both functional alarm state feedback, as well as aesthetic peripheral visual LED guided pinstriping. The central top portion of the wheel is designed to allow vehicle functional states to be effectively communicated, via ambient light, from the jewel-like light tube. Alarm indicators for rev limits and over-speed warnings, for example, are communicated via light output sited on the steering wheel directly in front of the driver, so are easily picked up in the driver’s peripheral vision.
- Flat STP comms technologies
High-speed data compatible technologies provide the data communication levels required in such a complex device, and the formability to be integrated into complex curve surfaces using our patented, flat, conformable, adhesive-backed, shielded ‘twisted pair’ conductors. These are carried either directly on the inner surface of the steering wheel shell, or on thermo formable polyester based substrates.
- Epaper graphical output
Providing ultimate information related to the gear change functions, or any other requirements such as entertainment functionality are realised via multiple, easily legible, ultra-thin, low energy Epaper displays integrated onto the shift levers. This is achieved with robust connections provided by In2tec’s flat shielded twisted pair comms technologies.
- Sustainability is our approach to ALL materials
The DNA of In2tec is ReUSE. Providing a game changing level of recyclability is central to our product design and materials focus, with the sole aim of improving the circular economy in the automotive arena. From highly recyclable materials in substrates, plus conductive and process technologies, to our ReUSE unzippable flexible printed circuit assemblies, we strive for 100% recyclability.
It is not one technological capability on its own that makes the difference but the synergy of the whole that creates the beauty. Our automotive technologies, capabilities, product, and material focus together provide game-changing solutions- with an embedded level of sustainability to improve the circular economy in the automotive arena.
At our core, everything we do is underpinned by the belief that “nothing is impossible”. To this end, we have developed a strength that allows us to bring together disparate and often conflicting design requirements, to provide systems and solutions that offer greater efficiency and better ergonomic design, through the breaking down of design and barriers and solving the most challenging problems.
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