News Releases


Jan 20, 2016

  • Etos features retractable steering wheel with hands on/off detection

  • Allows customized environment for the driver as well as enhanced styling options

  • Roof airbags presents flexible option for frontal occupant protection

ZF TRW, the Active and Passive Safety Technology Division of ZF AG, is highlighting an automated driving concept and advanced occupant safety technology on Rinspeed’s new ‘Etos’, which is being unveiled today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.  

The Etos is equipped with ZF TRW’s retractable steering wheel which offers several functions including hands on/off detection to help support the driver during automated driving situations.

Guido Hirzmann, group leader, new technology, Mechatronic, commented: “The steering wheel system opens up a world of possibilities to the driver. By utilizing a Driver Mode Manager (DMM) display located at the top of the steering wheel, the driver can choose whether to drive the vehicle himself (selects ‚Push to Drive‘ and display illuminates ‚M‘ for Manual) or hand control over to the vehicle (removes hands from wheel and display illuminates ’A‘ for Automated).

”In ’Automated‘ mode, the driver can simply fold the steering wheel away and create more space for carrying out other activities or relaxation.“

ZF TRW’s retractable steering wheel can significantly increase interior styling options and can help to provide a customized environment for the driver. With its unique design and minimized space in the instrument panel, ZF TRW proposes to package the frontal airbags into the roof area.

Dirk Schultz, engineering director, Inflatable Restraint Systems added: “Our roof airbag, which is now in series production, is an effective solution which in addition to offering enhanced styling flexibility, does not compromise occupant safety performance compared to conventional frontal airbag technologies. 

”Upon deployment, the bag unfolds along the windscreen in front of the seat occupant, helping to restrain front seat passengers of varying shapes and sizes."

In addition to the steering wheel and roof airbag, ZF TRW’s seat belt webbing is also fitted to the Etos.

ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company, which acquired TRW Automotive on May 15, 2015, is now represented at about 230 locations in some 40 countries. In 2015, ZF expects to achieve sales of €29 billion to €30 billion with approximately 138,000 employees (preliminary figures). ZF is one of the top three automotive suppliers worldwide.

For further press information and photos please visit:

For further information: Press contacts: Louise Colledge, Communications Manager, Europe and Asia Pacific, ZF TRW, phone: +44 121 506 5317, John Wilkerson, Senior Communications Manager, ZF TRW, North and South America, phone: +734 855 3864, email:

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