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Infiniti Q50 to introduce first steer-by-wire technology

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The Infinity Q50 will be the first vehicle to introduce a steer-by-wire system, inspired by those already present in aircraft.

Infinity calls their jet-inspired technology ‘direct adaptive steering’ and it will come standard on the Q50 3.5 Hybrid and as an option on the Q50 2.2d diesel in select markets.

The steer-by-wire technology works by electronically transferring the driver’s input to the front wheels, where it is picked up by a high-response actuator which in turn drives the steering rack. According to the company, the technology will allow for a faster than conventional system steering response for the Q50 and no mechanical losses which can dull de responsiveness of the steering.

The company has also stated that as a result of the technology the steering wheel is vibration-free but even so, it still offers a very characteristically performance-oriented level of feedback from the road.

The drivers will be able to adjust the steering via a touchscreen as part of the Infiniti drive mode selector. This option offers up to four pre-programmed settings but there is also an individual setting which allows the driver to customize the steering weight and response in order to suit their preferences as well as the road type.

The steer-by-wire technology for vehicles has been pretty well honed by three-time Formula One champion and Infinity director of performance Sebastian Vettel. He worked to fine-tune the system at the Tochigi test track.

According to the premium Japanese carmaker, it has tested the direct adaptive steering system to more than 400,000km of real-world testing and also equipped it with a triple back-up made up of three separate electronic control units as well as a conventional mechanical steering linkage.

The system will also be incorporating active lane control, a camera-based system that will work to keep the Q50 in the middle of the lane by reading the lane markings and providing the corrective steering inputs.

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