This weird ashtray thing is apparently the steering wheel of the future, according to carmaker Jaguar at least, one designed to be removable and therefore prepared for any future car sharing world in which you're free to slip it into any Jaguar and drive it away via an on-demand ownership club.
Jaguar says of the device: "Imagine a future of autonomous, connected and electric cars where you don’t own a single car, but instead call upon the vehicle of your choice where and when you need it. That’s a future vision Jaguar Land Rover is exploring with Sayer, the connected steering wheel that could be the only part of the car you own."
As well as being removable, it's packed with computer things, like computer thing du jour AI. Jaguar thinks that a steering wheel is the ideal place to shoehorn in an AI assistant, seeing as it's always right there in front of drivers. It has a name, too; Sayer. As in something you say things to but, ah, cleverly, also the name of former Jaguar designer Malcolm Sayer.
As for the AI element, Jaguar suggests asking your steering wheel to suggest a route, autonomously drive to your house to pick you up, then pop up with a prompt whenever it sees a bit of road that's interesting and/or fast or safe enough for you to want to drive it yourself. It's a concept anyway, so probably won't happen, or will be reduced to a button on the radio console. [Jaguar]