Nissan Motor Company has announced development of a new steering system that some have called drive-by-wire steering that is planned to enter production in the next year.
The new system replaces the mechanical links between the steering wheel and the wheels with electronic control units. Those units are designed to “read” the driver’s steering inputs and then transmit signals to the steering rack to control the tires. According to Nissan, the response time is quicker than with mechanical steering. It also says the drive-by-wire system enhances feedback from the road surface and conditions to the driver, while minimizing the affect of those conditions on the car’s handling.
The electronic system will be equipped with backup units to take over in the case of equipment failure. In the incidence of complete power outage in the vehicle, the steering wheel and tires can be mechanically connected by a backup clutch.
While the new Nissan system would be the first of its kind in production cars, it has been present since the 1970’s in military aircraft, starting with the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. However, aircraft with the drive-by-wire system in place have no mechanical backup. Electronic throttles and transmission controls in place of mechanical ones have also been used in cars for some time, making the idea of physical disconnection of the steering components less scary than some might initially find it.
Integrated into the drive-by-wire steering system is the addition of a stability system that uses camera to help the car maintain safe direction. The camera gathers data from the road and responds to abnormal changes in direction caused by driver actions, road surfaces, wind, and other forces.
Bates Nissan will bring you news about the new drive-by-wire steering system as it becomes available, so check back often or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates about it and other Nissan products. For any car questions, help in choosing a new car, or scheduling trusted service for your current vehicle, visit Bates Nissan in Killeen Texas. It is our pleasure to serve drivers in the Fort Hood and Austin areas!