Steer-by-wire will be option on Infiniti Q50
NASHVILLE -- Infiniti dealers will market one the industry's most anticipated new technologies this summer when the 2014 Q50 sedan arrives in showrooms with steer-by-wire as an option.
Automakers have been pursuing digital technologies such as steer-by-wire for years, slowly replacing mechanical vehicle systems with brake-by-wire and throttle-by-wire.
Infiniti will market the technology under the trademarked name Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering on some models of the Q50, which replaces the Infiniti G37.
Steer-by-wire, which controls steering by digital signals rather than by a mechanical connections between the steering wheel and the wheels, is in the pipeline for other automakers, including BMW and Audi.
Infiniti plans to market the feature on its redesigned entry sedan under the trademarked name Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering. According to product materials on the car, the system has two primary benefits: It will be able to communicate road conditions into the vehicle's safety system faster, and it will allow drivers to select the feel of steering they want.
"It provides an extremely wide range of both steering ratio and effort using the same set of hardware," says Bert Brooks, Infiniti's senior product planning manager for the car. "It allows the car to adapt to all kinds of different driving situations, and the system can be tuned by the driver for different settings."
A driver can choose one of 96 steering ratios to find the degree of control he or she wants for a given stretch of road.
The company plans to host its dealer body at a presentation in May in San Antonio to demonstrate the technology and other new features of the car, including a display monitor that allows vehicle owners to shrink or expand images with their fingers, as they can do on an iPhone screen.
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