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Posts Tagged ‘steer-by-wire’

New Toyota, Ford Systems Can Steer Clear of Pedestrians

Automakers turn to high-tech solutions to reduce pedestrian injuries.

by on Oct.11, 2013

Toyota and Ford are among the many makers working on systems designed to prevent pedeestrian collisions.

With pedestrian fatalities taking an unexpected rise in recent years, automakers are looking for ways to not only reduce the death toll but quite literally steer clear of pedestrians in the first place.

Both Toyota and Ford this week unveiled new high-tech systems designed to detect when someone might walk in front of a vehicle and take steps to prevent a collision, or at least mitigate the impact.

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The new Toyota Pre-collision System, or PCS, uses onboard sensors to scan the road ahead of the vehicle, issuing an alert if there’s a risk of a collision.  But, the maker says, “If the likelihood of a collision increases, the system issues an audio and visual alarm to encourage the driver to take evasive action, and the increased pre-collision braking force and automatic braking functions are activated.”

Ultimately, if the driver does not react in time, the vehicle will automatically attempt to steer away from the pedestrian.


Nissan Under the Spotlight

It’s not all EVs.

by on Aug.26, 2013

Nissan is betting on innovation to help it gain market share and boost revenues.

For a while now, Nissan Motor Co. has been more or less defined by the huge bet on electric vehicles placed by Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan executives insist their electric vehicle initiative is doing fine but the company is actively pursuing bigger goals, ranging from expanding the global reach of its premium Infiniti Brand to supplying taxis to New York City to bolstering its position in the commercial vehicle market around the world.

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Meanwhile, Nissan’s sales have roughly doubled since 1999 when it was forced to turn for help to the French carmaker Renault, a partnership that ultimately led it back to financial health.


First Drive: 2014 Infiniti Q50

Steering a new course.

by on Aug.05, 2013

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is more than just an update of the old G - Series sedan.

There’s something a bit disconcerting lifting one’s hands off the steering wheel at freeway speeds, especially when your new Infiniti QX50 confidently maneuvers a high-speed curve without a moment’s hesitation – or drift.

With the launch of the new Q50, Infiniti is steering a new course – quite literally.  The new sedan, the replacement for the maker’s popular G series, is the first mass production automobile to use a steer-by-wire system, something Infiniti has dubbed Direct Adaptive Steering. But the sedan is also part of a figurative shift in direction by the Nissan luxury brand, after nearly a quarter century Infiniti now determined to move out of the second-tier ghetto to take on dominant luxury competitors like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

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Part of the strategy to get there involves an all-new alphanumeric naming system.  Forget G, M, FX and JX.  Going forward, all Infiniti passenger cars will begin with a “Q,” while all crossovers and light trucks will be badged “QX.” The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is the first model to adopt that new nomenclature.

Of course, simply planting a new name on an old G35 wouldn’t be enough to make the big jump that Infiniti aims for. But the 2014 QX50 is a lot more than just a modest model refresh.


Infiniti Tries to Steer a New Course

New steer-by-wire system just the first step for Japanese luxury maker.

by on Aug.05, 2013

The design of the new Infiniti Q50 was strongly influenced by the maker's Essence concept vehicle.

With the launch of its new Q50 sedan, Infiniti is quite literally steering a new course as it tries to navigate out of the second-tier of luxury brands and take on better-known high-line marques like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

The Q50 replaces the old Infiniti G series and initiates an all-new alphanumeric naming strategy. It also introduces the world’s first steer-by-wire technology, among a variety of other high-tech features being added to the new sedan.

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But whether potential buyers take to the new Direct Adaptive Steering system remains to be seen, and analysts warn that Infiniti risks serious confusion as it rebrands existing models to conform to the new nomenclature – something that has caused serious problems for Honda’s Acura and Ford’s Lincoln when they also abandoned more familiar model names.

“We know we’ll face challenges in the short-term but there are tremendous opportunities in the long-term,” said Robb Simmons, Infiniti’s senior marketing manager, during a media preview of the new Q50 line.


First Look: 2014 Infiniti Q50

Luxury maker excited about new name, new look, new direction.

by on Jan.14, 2013

The design of the new Infiniti Q50 was strongly influenced by the maker's Essence concept vehicle.

With a performance by the celebrated Cirque du Soleil to kick things off, Infiniti has given a formal send-off to the little sedan that will be ushering in some big changes for the Japanese maker.

Long lingering in the second tier of the global luxury market, Infiniti now has some decidedly first-tier aspirations, with its own design and engineering team, a new headquarters in Hong Kong, a new global CEO – and the new Q50 to usher in a product line-up set to grow substantially.

It’s first model in the resurgence, the Q50, was formally introduced Monday at the North American International Auto Show.

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The replacement for the old G- sedan, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 is the first model to adopt the brand’s new alphanumeric naming strategy.  Going forward, passenger cars will all begin with a Q model designation, all crossovers and SUVs will begin with a QX.