Nissan Motor Co. has been gradually exploring new technology to further its goal of reducing deaths and serious injuries arising from accidents involving Nissan vehicles to zero. The latest in the series of safety features is electronic steering that completely bypasses the mechanical clutch.
This next-generation technology uses electronic signals instead of a mechanical link to control the tires. Using data about its surroundings coming from cameras and radars, the automatic steering allows the car to swerve to avoid pedestrians. This system is especially useful in instances where stepping on the brakes might be too late. Nissan executives claim that it adds a psychological sense of security, reducing the driver’s stress, which is one cause of accidents. The car will still be equipped with a mechanical clutch as a backup. The system is still incomplete and the car may still crash into another obstacle while trying to avoid the pedestrian. The electronic steering system is set to be included in some models from the Infiniti luxury line.
The car maker has also recently unveiled other safety technologies. One such feature is an automatic parking system to debut in some Nissan Leaf electric cars. Using camera and sensors, the Leaf will be able to navigate and drive itself into a parking slot without driver intervention. Another is a pedal correction system that determines whether the driver mistakenly pressed on the accelerator pedal instead of the break and corrects that. This feature might be a popular one in countries with rapidly aging populations such as Japan. Nissan touts these technologies as proactive safety measures unlike passive and reactive ones like air bags.
[ via The Star Online ]