Infiniti's Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) is quite a novelty - the system employs no physical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels under normal circumstances and instead relies on a computer, clutch and steering-angle actuator to guide vehicles down the road with input from the driver.

In our First Drive review of a 2014 Infiniti Q50 equipped with the system, we weren't overly impressed by the artificial feedback. But we can't help but be impressed with how long Infiniti spent on its development: a full 10 years, according to Autoline Daily in the video report below. A staggering 70 percent of the research and development time spent on DAS was devoted to getting the steering feel right, and unfortunately, our first impression suggests their results still leave something to be desired, as we found it lacked the sporty feeling a sport sedan should have.

The weight of DAS is comparable to that of a conventional steering system due to its complexity. For example, three ECUs are used in the first-generation DAS system to ensure there's never a loss of steering, but Infiniti is refining the technology and is working to simplify it to reduce weight. One day Infiniti hopes that only one ECU will be needed to control DAS. We just hope it doesn't take the Japanese automaker another ten years to get the steering feel right.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 109 Comments
      Alexandre
      • 1 Year Ago
      this system makes no sense
      Clipper44
      • 1 Year Ago
      This system will be a precursor to something that will be used in automatically driven cars.
      redssstew
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just wonder why this system wasnt introduced in an SUV first? It should have been introduced in a vehicle that didnt depend so much on Steering Feel. In an SUV you could get away with numb steering.
        Bernard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @redssstew
        It would be perfect for SUV's and trucks. High profile tires pretty much numb out the steering anyway.
        Dmitriy Markelov
        • 1 Year Ago
        @redssstew
        This would be the logical step but I\'m guessing that because the new G37/Q50 was due to be replaced Nissan understood that 1) they would have to live with its design for at least 5 years and 2) they were already planning to push more towards luxury and away from sport so the technological and efficiency benefits won out.
        zizixx89
        • 1 Year Ago
        @redssstew
        Funny thing is the infiniti QX56 handles great as big as it is. It had light steering
      Xrarey
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is one advantage I can think of. If some day you could get rid of the physical connection completely, you could put your RHD on Chunnel train and when you get in France you can make it LHD by sliding the wheel over. I'm assuming someday designers will have the inside of the car be completely different than it is today in terms of ergonomics, packaging, etc - I think getting rid of physical connections to things would be required to make it happen.
        Papi L-Gee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Xrarey
        Moving the wheel from one side to the other? I like that. What about the pedals? Same deal?
      Typesbad
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just read Motor Trend's criticism of the system in their COTY rundown. I haven't heard a clear advantage to such a system. Outside assisting self-driving technology, what is the point?
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      Almost as long as AB has been developing an edit function.
      PoMoMangler
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess time will tell whether this type of system 1) gets better in future iterations, and 2) offers real benefits to manufacturers and/or drivers. Nobody gets a new technology like this exactly right the first time and it takes input from consumers and refinement before it can really succeed. Think of all the shiftable automatics that were around before they finally got around to rev matched downshifts. It wasn't until then, and then the dual-clutch paddle-shifting manuals, that enthusiasts could even pretend to enjoy them (I STILL don't like them).
      xat95
      • 1 Year Ago
      Always naysayers and complainers!!! Every system can fail whether physical or electrical... I see so many complaints from people who haven't even driven the damn car. I haven't driven the car so I don't know how it feels, but clearly this is the matter of opinion. I bet if they didn't mention the technology,half the people out there wouldn't even know..... As for the test drivers, of course they are going to complain since they are used to a certain way of driving. I'm sure with practice they can master the system and get good performance out of it.
      legacy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sadly, I see this being an eventuality in the future like throttle by wire...Where the latter helps to adjust throttle input in slippery situations, I could see steering by wire helping counter-steer and make steering adjustments to avoid crashes when driver skill is not adequate. Unfortunately, it sucks for enthusiasts who want complete control, but for the mass public, it will help lower fatalities once the tech matures.
      PoMoMangler
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder if this is how hydraulically assisted steering in sports cars was received when it first came out. Enthusiasts probably thought it was the end of the world.
      AudiA4
      • 1 Year Ago
      So it takes them TEN years to develop something that's not very good, and you're "impressed"? This is the answer to a question NOBODY has ever asked.
        William Cervini
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AudiA4
        AUDI COULD NEVER DO THIS BECAUSE GERMANS SUCK AT TECHNOLOGY AND ELECTRICITY!
          o rly
          • 1 Year Ago
          @William Cervini
          http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/16/2014-infiniti-q50-electronic-steering-recall/
      • 1 Year Ago
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