Nissan to install electronic steer-by-wire in Infiniti cars
The new technology will be introduced in some models of the Infiniti brand within a year, Nissan said at a briefing, paving the way for cars that could one day be steered by joysticks and be programmed to avoid crashes automatically.
Traditionally, the steering wheel of a car and the tyres are linked mechanically, giving the driver direct feedback about steering from the tyres on the road.
Using steer by wire, inputs made by the driver through the steering wheel are transmitted to a computerised engine control unit, which instructs an actuator how to move the tyres.
The cars will also have a backup clutch that will link the steering wheel and tyres mechanically in the event of any problems, but Nissan hopes this won't always be neeeded.
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.
Nissan demonstrated the technology to reporters last Friday ahead of its official announcement on Tuesday.
Various automakers have already introduced the technology in concept cars, including Audi's A2 unveiled in 2011. But Nissan is the first to apply it for mass-produced cars, said Nissan engineer Toshiharu Asai.
Under the new system,
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