Nissan unveils navigation-enabled cruise control

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Radar-based cruise control systems are quickly becoming par for the luxury course, but Nissan is upping the ante with a new setup that integrates the on-board navigation system to adjust vehicle speed. The system will grab route information from the sat nav, anticipating curves, and then adjust speed for the corner and then resume acceleration once the turn is complete.

The Distance Control Assist feature will also make sure that drivers are aware of an impending disaster, even with their foot on the accelerator, by pushing the gas pedal against the driver's foot. If the system detects things are going to go sour quickly, it will sound off an audio warning and display a message telling the driver to hit the brakes.

This new navigation-based system is yet another attempt at removing the driver from the equation, something that's met with a fair share of skepticism around Autoblog HQ. We're more content to do the driving ourselves and know full well that systems like this, although touted as a safer means of travel, will inevitably result in more driver inattention as motorists rely on the car to do their duties for them. Although, they said the same thing when cruise control first appeared on the scene, too.

Nissan's full press release is after the jump.



- New Technologies Available on Fuga in December -

TOKYO (Dec. 13, 2007) -- Nissan Motor Co., Ltd will introduce two pioneering technologies with its new Fuga, set for release in Japan this month – the world's first Distance Control Assist and navigation-enabled Intelligent Cruise Control systems.

Nissan's pioneering Distance Control Assist system helps control the distance between two vehicles under various traffic conditions, from congested urban roads to high-speed expressways. The improved Intelligent Cruise Control system integrates route-information via the on-board navigation system to monitor the vehicle's cruising speed to match actual road e.g. the sharpness of the next curve on the road.

1. World's First Distance Control Assist
The Distance Control Assist system determines the following distance of the driver's vehicle, as well as the relative speed of both vehicles, using a radar sensor installed in the front bumper.

When a vehicle approaches close to the vehicle ahead and the accelerator is not engaged, the system activates the brakes to decelerate smoothly. Alternatively, if the accelerator is engaged, the acceleration actuator is activated through a "push back" mechanism to help the driver to release the pedal.

In a situation where the vehicle ahead slows down or brakes, requiring the driver to respond by braking, the system instantly alerts the driver through message and audio warnings. Simultaneously, the system pushes back the accelerator to assist the driver to switch to the brakes.

2. Enhanced Intelligent Cruise Control
The Intelligent Cruise Control system operates using information from a radar sensor installed in the front bumper. When following a vehicle ahead, the system controls following distance appropriately, using the driver's preset speed as the maximum limit. With no vehicle ahead, the vehicle cruises at the constant driver preset speed.

The new system features several pioneering technologies:

Full-speed range following function
Previous systems functioned only within the range of approximately 5-100 kilometres per hour, whereas the new system functions across the full-speed range, starting from zero. The system is capable of activating the brakes in order to stop the vehicle under certain traffic conditions.

World's first use of navigation map data
Utilising route-information fed through the on-board navigation system, the Intelligent Cruise Control system can modulate the vehicle-speed in anticipation of the next curve on the road. When approaching a curve, the system gradually decelerates, and as it clears the turn onto a straight road, the system seamlessly reverts to its original speed.

When both the Distance Control Assist and Intelligent Cruise Control are installed, the driver can select either function setting, using a wheel-mounted switch according to different driving conditions.

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