ALPS Trackpad Steering Wheel (Image courtesy Ubergizmo)
By Andrew Liszewski

The advent of GPS navigation devices, elaborate car stereos and touch screen interfaces have made staying focused on the road, while driving, more difficult than ever. Gone are the days when choosing between AM or FM was your biggest distraction. So at CEATEC a company called ALPS is showing off a concept design for a steering wheel that features touch sensitive pads in lieu of a complicated array of buttons.

Adjusting the volume of your music, or skipping tracks, is as easy as making swiping gestures just like on your smartphone. By centralizing all of these commands into one area, there’s less hunting and pecking for the driver as they look for a specific button. Which in turn, keeps their eyes on the road. The steering wheels could even incorporate handwriting recognition. Making it easier to enter a destination into a nav unit instead of battling with less than perfect voice recognition.

[ Ubergizmo – ALPS wheel trackpad for safer driving? ]