YOKOHAMA, JAPAN – Nissan Motor Co. recently unveiled its next-generation steering system at the company’s Advanced Technology Briefing. The steering technology reads the driver's intentions from steering inputs and controls the vehicle's tire movements via electronic signals.
The system controls and insulates the vehicle from unnecessary road-generated disturbances, making the vehicle easier for the driver to steer, Nissan said. For example, even on a road surface with minor ridges or furrows, the driver no longer has to grip the steering wheel tightly and make detailed adjustments to stay on the intended path.
Nissan has also developed a camera-based straight-line stability system to further enhance on-center driving capability. This system improves vehicle stability by making small input angle adjustments. If the vehicle direction changes because of the road surface or crosswinds, the system acts to minimize the effect of these conditions. As a result, there’s a reduction in steering input from the driver.
This next-generation steering technology's high reliability is made possible by multiple ECUs, Nissan said. In the event a single ECU malfunctions, another ECU will instantly take control. In extreme circumstances, such as the power supply being disrupted, the backup clutch will act to connect the steering wheel and wheels mechanically, ensuring continued safe travel.