Infiniti debuts fully electric steering system
In principle, it's not much different than playing 'Gran Turismo' with a wheel and pedals.
It also allows drivers to choose between light and heavy steering efforts, as on certain Audi and Volvo models, as a matter of software control. But whether electric or hydraulic, there has always been a direct mechanical connection to the front wheels.
Until now. Nissan has developed the first production "steering-by-wire" system, a fully electronic steering system that uses a combination of sensors and motors, which will debut on the 2014 Infiniti Q50.
Car and Driver breaks all the technical specs down in full detail, but the gist is this: There's no mechanical linkage, the steering can act independently of the steering wheel -- a possible advance for stability-control systems -- and the steering ratio can be varied infinitely. As such, there is no feedback whatsoever from the road to the driver's palms, since the car's steering wheel is essentially a video-game controller that kids mount on coffee tables.
A fail-safe system with a mechanical link supposedly will trigger if the electronics black out. It'd be frightening if hybrids didn't already use electronic brake pedals. Electronic throttles are even more common, and despite the 2009 Toyota scare over "ghosts in the machine," they've proved to be safe and reliable.
Let's just hope Infiniti offers enough Force Feedback.
[Source: Car and Driver]
"As such, there is no feedback whatsoever from the road to the driver's palms, since the car's steering wheel is essentially a video-game controller that kids mount on coffee tables."
The final nail in the coffin for "driver" involvement!
This sounds incredibly bad. I can't say I would consider buying any car equiped this way.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.