Jaguar's designs on the steering wheel

ACCORDING to Jaguar Land Rover's designers and futurists, in 20 years' time, the only element of the motor car that will still be in production will be the steering wheel.

But it's not just any old steering wheel, instead it will be a sculpted, aesthetically focused piece of art that will provide not only a connection with its user and his or her mobility needs, but also serve as a personal assistant for every other element of your life.

The launch of Google's Home Assistant, Amazon's Alexa and most recently Apple's Home Pad are already giving us a clear idea of how our digital lives are set to evolve, with a central hub at the heart of each home able to answer questions regarding the news, plan a journey, play your favorite songs or pre-emptively order next week's groceries.

It's little surprise that a host of carmakers, from BMW to Seat and Ford to Hyundai have already started experimenting with these devices' capabilities and have started integrating home assistant features into their vehicles connectivity and infotainment systems.

However, with its new "Steering Wheel of the Future" concept, Jaguar Land Rover is looking well beyond a talkative home speaker and is trying to envisage what will surpass it.

The device, set to be unveiled at the inaugural Tech Fest at Central St Martins art, design and technology college in the heart of London, is called Sayer, and was named in honor of Malcolm Sayer, probably the most important designer ever to work at Jaguar.

And while the show begins on September 7 2017, Sayer was envisaged for September 2040, when the car as we currently know it has gone the way of the dodo and mobility is instead an on-demand service.

By that point in time, vehicles could be little more than white goods -- pods that autonomously move from point to point, transporting people to meetings and from engagements.

Jaguar sees Sayer as an object that will literally give its owners hands-on control of this digital revolution. It can order the car, work out when to leave and calculate if there are any sections of the journey that could prove entertaining to drive oneself, rather than in autopilot.

Though clearly just a very forward-thinking concept, Jaguar Land Rover is calling Sayer the only piece of a car you will own in the future and a device that transfers your tastes and driving style as well as the day's pressing engagements to any digital vehicle so that it feels like your sort of car.

Tech Fest opens to the press on September 7 and to the public on September 8 and Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr. Ralf Speth will be giving the keynote address. — AFP Relaxnews