Infiniti Q50’s Direct Adaptive Steering Selected As Popular Science “2013 Best of What’s New” Grand Award Winner

Steering a Safer Path

The editors of Popular Science have selected the all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50 luxury sports sedan’s Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering™ as one of 12 Grand Award recipients in the annual “Best of What’s New” issue. Direct Adaptive Steering™ is the world’s first production steer-by-wire system – providing new levels of control, precision and adaptability. The system uses advanced electronics to streamline the steering mechanism for a more precise feeling behind the wheel.

Developed after more than ten years of research, Direct Adaptive Steering™ allows independent control of the Q50’s tire angle and steering inputs, transmitting the driver’s intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system. This increases the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver. Over uneven roads, for example, this moderates the need for constant, subtle adjustment, imparting a commanding feeling while helping shield the driver from excessive road vibrations.

Direct Adaptive Steering™ – and the Infiniti Q50 itself – are really representative of the future of driving,” said Michael Bartsch, vice-president, Infiniti Americas. “It is more precise, quicker, less tiring, easier to keep the vehicle in the center of the lane, and allows previously unattainable levels of driver personalization. Someday all vehicles will have steer-by-wire, today we are the only one.”

In what the magazine praised as “one of the biggest steps yet” toward self-driving cars, the Popular Science editors wrote: “Because there’s no physical link between the road and the steering wheel, drivers don’t feel jarring bumps or vibrations, but the system does electrically simulate natural steering resistance. Computers vary steering ratio and power assist for easier low-speed maneuvers and high-speed stability. And in the event of total power loss, a clutch restores mechanical control to the driver — that is, until the human driver becomes obsolete.”

While systems such as Direct Adaptive Steering™ will be critical in future autonomous vehicle designs, Infiniti Q50 owners are realizing a real benefit today in the system’s ability to customize steering settings according the driver preference and road conditions. The system allows the driver to change both steering effort and the steering gear ratio.

Each year the Popular Science staff reviews thousands of products in search of the top 100 tech innovations of the year for their December issue. One Grand Award winner is then selected in each of a dozen categories, including Automotive, Aerospace, Engineering, Health, Green and Entertainment. Infiniti was also named to the “Best of What’s New” list in 2012 for the Infiniti QX60’s Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) system.

The Best of What’s New awards honor the innovations that surprise and amaze us – those that challenge our view of what’s possible on the future,” said Jacob Ward, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science. “The award is Popular Science’s top prize and the 100 winners – chosen from among thousands of nominees – are each a revolution in their respective fields.”

The all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50 went on sale last summer at Infiniti retailers nationwide. It offers a wide range of advanced technologies, including Active Lane Control™, Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Infiniti InTuition™ customizable digital environment and Infiniti InTouch™ next-gen smart connectivity featuring dual touch-screens and an array of advanced functions and features. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is offered in 3.7-liter V6 and 3.5-liter Hybrid models with a choice of rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive – and in a range of well-equipped models, including versions with special sport appearance and performance features.

Taken From infinitinews.com