Nissan plans to install on several of its luxury cars a system called “steer-by-wire” technology, to control steering electronically.
This new technology will be tested on several Infiniti models in the next year, and Nissan hopes that this could pave the way for vehicles that would one day be controlled with joysticks and programmed to avoid crashes. Using this system the drivers sends through he steering wheel inputs directly to a computerized engine control unit, which further instructs an actuator how to move the tyres. In the event of any problems the cars will also be provided with a backup clutch, connecting the steering wheel and the tyres.
“In the future, if we are freed from that, we would be able to place the steering wheel wherever we like, such as in the back seat, or it would be possible to steer the car with a joystick,” said Masaharu Satou, a Nissan engineer.
This technology was introduced and tested by other automakers, such as Audi with its A2 unveiled in 2011, but Nissan will be the first to introduce the new technology to mass-produced cars. The new system sends driver’s intentions more quickly to the wheels thanks to the fast electronic signals and the cars will be maneuvered more easily due to the elimination of unnecessary feedback from the tyres to the driver.