ZF TRW is highlighting an automated driving concept and occupant safety technology on Rinspeed’s new ‘Etos,’ which is being unveiled today (6 January) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The Etos is equipped with ZF TRW’s retractable steering wheel, which offers several functions including hands on/off detection to help support the driver during automated driving situations.

“The steering wheel system opens up a world of possibilities to the driver,” said Mechatronic group leader, new technology, Guido Hirzmann.

“By utilising a Driver Mode Manager (DMM) display located at the top of the steering wheel, the driver can choose whether to drive the vehicle himself by selecting ‘Push to Drive’ and display illuminates, ‘M’ for Manual, or hand control over to the vehicle by removing hands from the wheel and the display illuminating ‘A’ for Automated.”

In ‘Automated’ mode, the driver can fold the steering wheel away and create more space for carrying out other activities or relaxation.

With its design and minimised space in the instrument panel, ZF TRW proposes to package the frontal airbags into the roof area.

“Our roof airbag, which is now in series production, is an effective solution which in addition to offering styling flexibility, does not compromise occupant safety performance compared to conventional frontal airbag technologies,” said engineering director, Inflatable Restraint Systems, Dirk Schultz.

“Upon deployment, the bag unfolds along the windscreen in front of the seat occupant, helping to restrain front seat passengers of varying shapes and sizes.”

In addition to the steering wheel and roof airbag, ZF TRW’s seat belt webbing is also fitted to the Etos.