Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled the world's first electronic steering technology that allows independent control of a vehicle's tire angle and steering inputs.
While a conventional steering system directs tire movements by transmitting steering inputs to the tires via a mechanical link, Nissan's next-generation steering technology reads the driver's intentions from steering inputs and controls the vehicle's tire movements via electronic signals. This technology helps in filtering out unnecessary road feedback for a smoother driving experience.
Accompanying this next-generation steering technology, Nissan has also developed a camera-based straight-line stability system to further enhance on-center driving capability. 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.
This next-generation steering technology's high reliability is achieved by multiple ECUs. But in the event that the ECU malfunctions, another ECU will instantly take control, and in extreme circumstances such as the power supply being disrupted, the backup clutch will act to connect the steering wheel and wheels mechanically to ensure proper control is maintained.
Lastly, Nissan also announced the development of their 'Autonomous Emergency Steering System' which, through high-precision sensing technology and on-board control technology, automatically steers the vehicle away from potential collisions, when braking alone is insufficient.
The Autonomous Emergency Steering System, using the information provided by the front-mounted radar and camera, the two left and right rear radars, and the five laser scanners attached around the vehicle, initially acts on a risk of collision that cannot be avoided by braking. Simultaneously, it checks if there is a forward zone free of obstacles and that there are no vehicles approaching from the rear, and then displays to the driver the direction that the vehicle should be steered. If the driver cannot immediately steer in that direction, the system takes over to automatically steer the vehicle to help avoid a collision.
The independent control steering technology and the camera-based straight-line stability system is set to be equipped in Infiniti's vehicles within a year.