Race cars can serve as a testbed for technologies that eventually end up in the vehicles we buy, like steering wheel shift lights. They’re not a new idea, but Hyundai thinks it has found a way to simplify the assembly process and bring the feature to more vehicles.

The automaker filed a patent on June 13 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, outlying the assembly process for steering wheel-mounted shift lights. According to the filing, the wheel will feature a cutout at the top of the wheel for the lights and a groove inside the structure for the wiring, regardless of whether it has them.

Hyundai Shift Lights Patent

This will allow Hyundai to lower the wheel’s production cost, making it more readily available across multiple models. The new structure will let the automaker add various plug-and-play trim pieces.

Shift lights in cars aren’t a new concept, with Ferrari, McLaren, and BMW integrating the technology into steering wheels and dashboards. However, it’s not a common feature in more mainstream models, which could change if Hyundai’s patent truly simplifies the production process.

Hyundai Shift Lights Patent

We do not know if the wheel will even see production, but Hyundai’s new Magma performance sub-brand could benefit from such a thing. It’d tell consumers the company is serious about its performance offerings, even if it’s a minor bit of racing tech. It wouldn’t hurt to see it in Hyundai’s fun-to-drive cars, even if they aren’t competing with BMW M and Mercedes-AMG.

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Last Update: June 24, 2024