The idea of a heated steering wheel itself is not innovative, but Ford has offered its own variant, with multiple heaters, and filed a patent for it.
Ford filed a patent for a heated steering wheel that has numerous heaters with integrated sensors. The patent was filed 1.5 years ago but published on March 10, 2022, according to Ford Authority that closely monitors Ford patents.
The presence of plural heating zones surrounding the steering wheel’s core structure is the feature that distinguishes the Ford invention.
Each such zone has conductive circuitry for defining a heater and a capacitive sensor. After the sensor locates the driver’s hand in a certain zone or zones, a controller controls the circuitry in each heating zone, and the proper heater begins heating the zone or zones.
The idea is creative, of course, but its practical value is not entirely clear. Many heating zones, partial heating instead of one heating element for the whole wheel…Huh, it’s good, but what for? If such type of steering wheel heating is more efficient than a conventional heated wheel and helps save electricity – then, yes, it makes sense.