Ford has patented a self-driving driving car with removable steering wheel and pedals. The patent images were first discovered by Motor1. The images reveal a dashboard that has the option to mount or remove the steering wheel.
As per Ford, the removable driver functions are for development purpose and "enables the easy provision of a steering wheel as a customer-requested option."
The technology hints at a steer-by-wire system that could enable the removal of the steering wheel. Also, the patent images show two airbags on the driver's side - one in the steering wheel and the other in the dashboard. A sensor would determine which one of the two to deploy in case of an accident.
The steering wheel could attach to the dashboard through special brackets and the pedals through fasteners. The dashboard could use dedicated trims that would cover the bit where the 'optional' steering wheel would mount.
Although self-driving cars are the future, many enthusiasts would feel the light ahead dimming already. The steering wheel and pedals could soon be optional accessories in cars and who knows, these paid extras could just be around the corner.