As we move into the era of new and innovative automotive technology, it is just a matter of time that we get to see a steering technology that uses electronic controllers. And Nissan has introduced such technology and it will be featured on Infiniti models within the next year.
Nissan has unveiled a steering technology that allows independent control of a vehicle's tyre angle and steering input and it is said to be a world’s first. This next generation steering technology reads the driver’s steering inputs and controls the tyre movements through electronic signals.
The company stated that this transmits the driver’s inputs much faster than a conventional mechanical steering system. It also increases the direct driving feel by quickly communicating road surface feedback to the driver.
The system controls the vehicle from unnecessary road generated disturbances, for example, when the car is travelling on a road surface with minor bumps or ridges; the system controls the steering by making detailed adjustments to it. The driver no longer has to grip the steering wheel tightly and this will deliver the only necessary feel to the driver.
Accompanying this next generation steering system is a camera based straight line stability system. This system will improve vehicle stability by making small input angle adjustments. This will allow the vehicle to accurately follow the lane it is travelling. If the direction of the vehicle changes due to road surface or crosswinds, the system reduces the steering input from the driver.
The camera is mounted on the rear view mirror and recognises the lane which the vehicle is travelling. If it detects any changes, it will send the information to multiple ECUs as electronic signals.
You might ask about how reliable this system is? The system is controlled by multiple electronic control units (ECU). If one of the ECUs malfunctions, another unit will instantly takes over. And if in the event of a power failure, a backup clutch will act to connect the steering wheel and wheels mechanically and will function just like a conventional system.
Photo credit: Nissan