NISSAN recently unveiled the next generation of the company’s steering system technology, which could be fitted to Infiniti models within a year.
A conventional steering system directs tyre movements by transmitting steering inputs via a mechanical link. Nissan’s next-generation steering technology reads the driver’s intentions from steering inputs and controls the vehicle’s tyre movements via electronic signals.
These transmit the driver’s intentions to the wheels even faster than a mechanical system and increases the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver.
The system controls and insulates the vehicle from unnecessary road-generated disturbances to deliver only the necessary performance feel to the driver. For example, even on a road surface with minor ridges or furrows, the driver no longer has to grip the steering wheel tightly and make detailed adjustments, so travelling on the intended path becomes easier.
Accompanying this next-generation steering technology, Nissan has also developed a camera-based straight-line stability system to further enhance driving capability. This system is a world-first technology that improves vehicle stability by making small input angle adjustments so the vehicle will accurately trace and continue as planned in the lane it is traveling.
Reduced steering input
If the vehicle direction changes due to road surface or crosswinds, the system acts to minimize the effect of these conditions resulting in reduced steering input from the driver.
Using a camera mounted above the vehicle’s rearview mirror, the system analyses the road ahead, recognises the lane direction, detects changes in the vehicle’s direction, and transmits this information to multiple electronic control units as electronic signals
This next-generation steering technology’s high reliability is achieved by multiple engine control units (ECUs). In the event a single ECU malfunctions, another one will instantly take control, and in extreme circumstances such as the power supply being disrupted, the back-up clutch will act to connect the steering wheel and wheels mechanically, ensuring continued safe travel.
Clever stuff! And as we’ve said, this technology will be provided on selected Infiniti models on sale within a year.
For a more detailed analysis of the technology behind the new system, check out the video below…