Archives of Past Exhibits:Autoliv

Paris Motor Show 2004

Fixed Hub Steering Wheel

-At the Paris Auto Show 2004, the Company debuted the world's first steering wheel with a fixed hub on Citroen's new C4 model which will be launched this fall. With this innovation, the frontal airbag for the driver no longer has to be round. The shape and the design of the bag can instead be optimized to provide the best possible protection in a crash. And to date, steering wheels have required a complex and expensive coil mechanism in order to ensure uninterrupted electrical connections for radios and other electrical controls. The Fixed-Hub Steering Wheel eliminates the turning problem and hence the coil. As a result, an almost unlimited number of direct cable connections can be made. In the new C4, for instance, Citroen put as many as 21 controls on the steering wheel.

Advantages of the new product

Passive safety
In the event of a frontal collision, biomechanical criteria are improved by the installation of an asymmetric driver's air bag. The protection of the thorax increases. This technology is made possible because the steering wheel airbag module remains static whatever the conditions of the accident.

Active safety
Thanks to the relocation of functions from the dashboard to the steering wheel, the driver can more conveniently operate the principal controls.

The fixed part of the steering wheel houses a large number of controls (horn, satellite radio, telephone, cruise control, navigation, air circulation, rheostat, rev counter...) and warning lights (dipped beams, main beams, turn indicators...). This configuration improves the ergonomics (visibility and accessibility of controls) of the driving position.

Electrical reliability
To supply power to the controls, a simple wiring bundle takes the place of the revolving contacts necessary in standard steering wheels. This electrical configuration allows many more functions to be accommodated on the steering wheel.

Design of the driving position
The positioning of controls on the steering wheel enables the dashboard and central console to be simplified. 

Operating principle: Geared Transmission

A single idea: to devise a static interface which could house an advanced driver's airbag and instruments. A concept made possible by the gearing system which is the basis of Fixed Hub Steering Wheel.
Summary: the airbag module remains static whilst the wheel rim turns.

Fixed Hub Steering Wheel compared with a standard steering wheel...
-Fixed Hub Steering Wheel is as easy to fit to a vehicle as a standard wheel;
-a simple wiring bundle replaces the revolving contact;
-the specification of the wheel itself is no different from that of a standard wheel and conforms to the same criteria.
Summary: Fixed Hub Steering Wheel offers new benefits whilst retaining those of a standard steering wheel.