Volkswagen Patents Adaptive Self-Driving Tech in Germany

Volkswagen has filed a patent application in Germany for a new autonomous driving technology that allows for driver input without disengaging the self-driving mode.

The main feature of the technology is a touch-sensitive control on top of the gear shift knob which allows the driver to input instructions to the automatic drive. The driver does so by swiping or tapping the input commands on the small screen that is the touch-sensitive device.

The self-driving technology will ask the driver for input in certain situations too. For example, if the car comes up to a slow-moving vehicle ahead, the computer will ask the driver if they’d like to pass the vehicle or remain in the lane. The small touch screen will then display a button to tap in order to pass the vehicle ahead.

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The patent filed by Volkswagen shows various input commands that can be made by the driver by different swiping gestures. Putting a palm over the gear shift knob for example will disengage the self-driving mode.

It isn’t known when this technology will first be featured in a Volkswagen Group vehicle. But automakers are scrambling to create ever-more sophisticated self-driving technologies as autonomous transport is shaping up to be the wave of the future.

Thanks to Dennis Chung for the tipping us off to this story. You can find more of his work at or follow him on Twitter @DenChung.

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