The concept steering wheel, developed by a Finnish automotive consortium, is named a Winner for Excellent Product Design – Human-Machine-Interface

HELSINKI, VANTAA and OULU Finland, September 15, 2020 — The Origo Steering Wheel concept has received recognition from the German Design Awards council for outstanding design quality. The project was chosen as a Winner in the category of Excellent Product Design – Human-Machine Interface. German Design Awards is one of the world’s most highly renowned design competitions. High standards are assured by an international jury recognizing only projects that truly represent pioneering contributions to the German and international design landscape. The Origo Steering Wheel was developed within the Finnish automotive ecosystem, in collaboration between Canatu, Siili Auto, TactoTek®, Rightware, and Northern Works as a part of the Multimodal In-Vehicle Interaction and Intelligent Information Presentation (MIVI) project.

“We are all proud that this new, jointly developed HMI solution has drawn great interest and has been awarded with such a prestigious prize. The Origo Steering Wheel shows the value of re-imagining user experiences by integrating inspired design, innovative 3D touch surfaces, and leading-edge software. By adapting the strengths of mobile device interaction patterns to driver controls, this team of Finnish companies has developed a solution that delivers convenience, style, and safety,” said Juha Kokkonen, CEO, Canatu Oy.

With the new Origo Steering Wheel, the driver can manage all key functions purely by thumbs without letting go of the steering wheel, minimizing distractions, and improving safety. Transparent three-dimensional touch surfaces enable an intuitive HMI and enhance freedom by design. Only relevant information is displayed on-screen at any time to avoid overstimulation.

“The initial idea of the Origo steering wheel was to challenge the status quo of the existing steering wheel HMI and not just take the easy route of converting analog controls into digital versions. Our lives have become cluttered with information and overstimulated with choices, so we wanted to offer the driver clarity with our steering wheel concept and reduce functions and controls to just the bare necessities,” said Miika Heikkinen, Lead Designer, Northern Works.

“One way of overcoming the fear of new is to make it look familiar. Nowhere is this more true than in a car’s user interface, and the Origo concept does a superb job of incorporating new interactions into a familiar context,” said Väinö Leskinen, CEO, Siili Auto Oy.

While designing a minimalistic and intuitive HMI, the team wanted physical forms to be expressive, supporting the use of controls, something that the current touch screens and capacitive controls quite often lack. The final Origo design perfectly aligns physical controls with the digital UI, creating an intuitive and exciting user experience unlike anything seen on cars before.


Siili Auto has played a major role in creation of the Origo steering wheel. We have been responsible of the design of the user experience and digital user interface as well implementation of the HMI software. The software runs on an automotive grade iMX8 hardware and is built on top of widely used Kanzi framework by Rightware utilizing Kanzi UI, Kanzi Connect and Kanzi Maps.

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