Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Steer-by-Wire Infiniti Irons out the Bumps

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Steer-by-Wire Infiniti Irons out the Bumps

Article excerpt

Byline: Edward Stephens

IT started in the aviation industry when aircraft manufacturers introduced fly-by-wire.

Now luxury car maker Infiniti has developed the concept to bring steer-by-wire to the roads of Britain.

The world-first technology makes its debut on the new Infiniti Q50 saloon, which is aiming to take sales from the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class.

Infiniti sees the launch of the upper crust four door saloon as one of the biggest steps forward in the history of the company as it goes for growth in the UK and Europe.

The steer by wire system, or to give it its correct name Direct Adaptive Steering, means that for the first time ever there is no physical contact between the steering wheel and the car's front wheels. No conventional steering rack is in use, so every time you turn the steering wheel the instruction is transmitted to the wheels electronically.

The beauty of the system is that no longer will you feel every bump or adverse camber in the road through the steering wheel so you can enjoy more relaxed motoring.

The wheels might hit a pothole but you won't feel any impact through the steering wheel so you won't have to make sudden steering adjustments.

To prove the point I was invited by Infiniti to drive a conventional model over a test track covered with raised lumps of concrete and had to fight to hold the steering wheel. I then drove a Q50 with the DAS system over the same surface and ... nothing.

Despite two and three inch lumps of concrete sticking upright vibration at the steering wheel was nonexistent.

And because the system, which has taken 15 years to develop, works electronically you can set your own personal steering preferences on a touch screen.

There are up to four modes available to suite different styles of driving and types of road.

Q50 models with DAS also come with what Infiniti claims is the most effective and sophisticated lane-keeping system yet developed because it's the only one to use the steering to ensure the car stays between lane markings. …

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