Nissan Motor plans to introduce electronic steering in its luxury vehicles as early as 2013. So-called steer-by-wire technology will replace the conventional mechanical steering system in certain Infiniti models, the automaker says.
A steer-by-wire system transmits steering-wheel actions electronically to a vehicle’s engine-control unit. The engine-control unit sends the steering input to the vehicle’s actuator, which controls the tires.
Nissan believes that steer-by-wire technology will lead to the production of vehicles that are driven by a joystick controller rather than a by steering wheel.
Infiniti models that have a steer-by-wire system also would have a backup clutch that would override the steering system mechanically if the power supply were disrupted, Nissan says.
The automaker didn’t say which Infiniti models would have electronic steering or say how much those models would cost.