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For the last century, automotive engineers have worked diligently to send Charles Darwin's concept of natural selection into obsolescence. It appears that we're inching closer to the time when any fool with a pulse may be able to climb behind the wheel of car and traverse a series of curves looking much more like the white-helmeted mystery driver from Top Gear than Captain Slow. The new Nissan Fuga (known here as the Infiniti M), debuting this fall at the Tokyo Motor Show, will feature fresh technology including new driver assistance systems.

In this case, Infiniti has integrated the GPS navigation system (hope those satellites hang in there) with the M's electronic stability control. As always, ESC uses inertial sensors to detect what the car is actually doing and compares that information to the actual driver inputs to see if they match. If not (i.e. understeer or oversteer) the brakes are individually applied at each wheel and engine torque may be reduced to help make the car go where the driver intended.

The GPS integration allows the system to detect where the road is going ahead and further manipulate the car, while alerting the driver to slow down by pushing the throttle back against his or her footn. Maybe it's all just a part of Nissan's master plan to save trees by preventing cars from being wrapped around them. Or perhaps we're just seeing the evolution of the Idiocracy. You can read the official PR from Nissan after the jump.

[Source: Nissan]


Nissan Develops Two New Driver-Assist Systems for Curvy Roads

- "Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal" and "Active Stability Assist" Aid Smooth Vehicle Operation and Help Reduce Driver Workload When Driving on Curvy Roads -

TOKYO (July 24) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the development of two advanced technologies designed to help drivers make smooth turns by synchronizing the vehicle's navigation, engine, braking and steering systems. By linking the existing Distance Control Assist System to navigation map data, the Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal can help the driver decelerate or brake as the car enters a curve based on real-time navigation information. Active Stability Assist helps control vehicle yaw moment, deceleration and braking on curves depending on driver demand. Both are designed to make driving more comfortable.

Distance Control Assist/Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal

The new Distance Control Assist system combines the distance control feature first introduced on the Nissan Fuga in December 2007 with the car's navigation system. Based on map information indicating a curve ahead, the system moves the accelerator pedal upward to assist the driver to release the accelerator pedal. Once the foot is lifted off the pedal, the system smoothly reduces vehicle speed by activating the brakes. This is the world's first driving assist system focused on reducing the driver's workload on curvy roads by integrating navigation, accelerator pedal, powertrain and brakes.

This system is scheduled for introduction on the new Fuga, which is set for release in Japan in fall 2009.

Active Stability Assist

The Active Stability Assist system supports the driver's control of the vehicle by helping to synchronize braking, steering and engine response. The system helps smooth vehicle operation and enhances full driving enjoyment on winding mountain roads or freeways.

The system senses driving demands based on the driver's steering and acceleration/braking patterns, and individually controls the braking and application of torque to each of the four wheels to help smooth vehicle response. During braking, the system optimizes the distribution of force to each of the four wheels depending on the radius of the curve. This system is designed to make the driver feel more in control.

This system is scheduled for use on the new Fuga which will be released later in Nissan's current fiscal year.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The best part about something like this is that some people who are very skilled and knowledgeable about satellite transmissions and the like could easily set your car into motion as a rolling two-ton missile. I've already seen people mess with standard GPS systems, placing you anywhere they want. It's not that difficult, either.

      Oh, did I say the best part? I meant the worst part.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hmmm.. This is all a little too much for me. I'm a little wary of all this "car tells the driver what to do through gps and sensors". If you know how to drive well and know how your car behaves on the road, then the car is already telling you where its limits are; the key is knowing your own limits.

      What happens if the satellite gets hit by an asteroid ? Or there is an error in the electrical system or cpu ? There are a lot of things I can see going wrong with this type of technology on the road. Mainly though, that people will come to rely on it and drive like idiots because the car will correct their driving anyway.

      Perhaps if we want better drivers we should change our approach to educating new drivers. Providing technology like this only makes people lazy and careless. Think about it, the automatic gearbox was revolutionary. But now because people have their right hand (left in some countries) free from shifting, they can use it for all sorts of other things like cellphones, razors, make-up, etc. Perhaps there is such a thing as too much automation and too much technology.

      Just my $0.02
        • 6 Years Ago
        Absolutely. I've never considered myself a Luddite but the availability of all these toys for use while DRIVING is an abomination and must cease.
        • 6 Years Ago

        can you imagine being in high school again adn looking for that first cheap car.
        boy one thing goes wrong the bills would be huge.

        I don't know why so many are hooked on this tech train that's all but leading th edriver into being lazy and non-attentive to what's happening on the road.

        maybe this is the plan to get people used to so that eventually we'll accept self driving cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ew, i have a james may in me? is that my bad hair days?
      and this sounds cool, but like syncro rev match and traction control, it must have an off switch.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am 100% fine with one computer in my car, for EFI. All the rest I really don't like so much unless I have an off switch. Maybe someday I'll own a car with ABS or traction control but I haven't really needed either yet.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Even with the advanced GPS navigation here in Japan - you still cant trust them...

      Taking from experience - I was driving to the Narita International Airport along the Rainbow Bridge, and where does my GPS tell me I am in? Traveling over Tokyo Bay!!!

      I was going to this hangout near Mt. Fuji - and where does my GPS tell me I am in? Flying in the sky!

      GPS system still some recalibration here and now, and there are cases like a sudden thunderstorm, that can momentarily mess things up!

      God! Nissan is good when it comes to building cars for lazies - the GT-R, the Z with automated "heel-and-toe," and now this?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Personally, I find the GT-R's electronics to be amazing, and the 370Z's SyncroRev Match transmission is a really cool piece of technology.

        I feel this is on a completely different level, and I find it truly odd. It's like they went one step too far.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice use of Idiocracy in a blog post. One of my favorite , scary in a real way movies.

      Pretty soon, the cars are driving themselves, and we are just meat puppets. A lot of people do need some help though with cornering. I can just watch it with the ebb and flow of freeway traffic. It always seems to bunch up at any kind of corner. Even the slow sweeping ones.

        • 6 Years Ago
        More people should watch that movie. It is a funny but very serious warning...
        • 6 Years Ago
        In a sense, just like 1984. The systematic dumbification of society will result in cars eventually telling us where they wanna go, instead of the other way around.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Err, computers are great as an aid, but instead of instinct and common sense I'm not so sure. Also, imagine inside the Stig's helmet finding Clarkson, jump quick!
      • 6 Years Ago
      How about people just freakin learn to freakin drive?
      • 6 Years Ago
      As long as it has an off switch.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +2, and Amen. I don't even like the traction control in my car. Not that it does anything anyway..
        • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry, no nannies for me. I'll continue to drive using the seat of my pants. Nannies slow you down.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it just me or are governments and manufacturers trying to cram into an automobile as much crap as possible? This will be just another system we will have to pay big bucks to fix, not only that, but if it fails it will take out ABS, Traction control and Vehicle stability systems at the same time.

      Will the hand of God please smit down these people who come up with these goofy ideas! At the same time convince Mr Honda in a burning bush hallucination to reintroduce the Honda CRX sans ABS, Airbags (side curtain, seat, and knee), Traction control, launch control, Stability control, (power- windows, locks, mirrors, hatch), Homelink, Bluetooth, Onstar, and any other non essential crap.

      I wonder how much carbon is released into the atmosphere manufacturing all this crap? Not to mention how much weight it adds to a vehicle, which will consume more hydrocarbon fuel to get to speed, maintain that speed and replacement tires that wear out faster.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fly-by-wire systems irk me enough as it is. Im always afraid Im going to have throttle at idle, but mr car computer says full open..... Now the GPS is going to get involved....

      I can just see it "Left here" "Uh, theres a cliff here" "I SAID LEFT HERE!" *Car urns anyway* *Dies*
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