Instead of using a direct steering column that attaches through physical connection to the wheels, Nissan has devised a system of electronic signals which will transmit the steering input from the driver to a servo, which will then control the tires. In theory, the electronic signals travel faster than the conventional steering method, making for a more responsive driving feel.
Nissan also admits that the system will be able to cancel out unnecessary feedback to the steering wheel, allowing for a more relaxed feel when driving. There are three computers in place to ensure the system stays reliable, and if all system power is lost, a backup clutch will mechanically connect the steering wheel to the wheels ensuring the driver never loses steering control.
This is the first time a ‘steer-by-wire’ system has been implemented, and has the potential to eliminate steering racks.
Another important part of the new steering system is a camera that’s mounted above the car’s rear-view mirror. This camera ensures that a car stays in its lane and can signal to the car’s wheels to counteract slight changes in the road ahead, or crosswinds.
This technology is expected to make its way into select Infiniti models within a year.
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