Toyota’s FV2 concept has made its European debut, and it doesn’t look like anything else at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. It comes with lots of fancy technology, three wheels, and no steering wheel.
It’s not hard to imagine a future without steering wheels. Last year, Infiniti’s Q50 sedan became the world’s first production car to use drive-by-wire technology, so the wheel has no mechanical connection to the wheels. You could pop in a joystick and it would work just as well.
With the auto industry moving quickly toward a future where cars drive themselves, steering wheels could become obsolete.
But Toyota’s FV2 isn’t an improvement on the Q50. It’s an improvement on the horse. The driver stands while in the vehicle (deal breaker), and shifts his weight to steer. Like on a horse. And in its press release, Toyota says it “believes the relationships between drivers and their vehicles will continue to develop aspects of trust and understanding, similar to those a rider will have with a horse.”
I can’t agree with Toyota that the FV2 is a “glimpse of the future,” since the auto industry is headed further from deep connections between drivers and cars, not closer to it. But at least the thing looks cool.