Nissan has unveiled a new safety system which automatically jerks the steering wheel to avoid a collision. The technology is a world first and is being demonstrated on a Nissan Leaf.
The system relies on sensors around the body shell to constantly scan the road for ‘safe zones’ between the two kerbs. These are areas the vehicle could move into without driver input should a pedestrian or vehicle come too close, in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a collision.
The car will decide if it’s safe to automatically steer into a safe zone, which is most likely to be the opposite carriageway if it’s clear. If no safe zone is detected the accident will still happen but be mitigated through braking.
Called Autonomous Emergency Steer (AES), the pioneering system is part of Nissan’s Safety Shield suite of technologies. It works on pedestrians at up to 40mph and stationary vehicles at up 50mph. In Japan, where the demonstration took place, that would cover 95 per cent of all serious accidents.
Project leader Tetsuya Iijima said AES would work on any car equipped with the right sensors and software, and is 3-5 years away from appearing on production models. “The challenge now is to make the sensors more compact and integrate them into the car,” he explained.