Nissan is set to release its new Fuga luxury saloon (known as the M in the US) at the Tokyo motor show. We expect the Fuga to be unremarkable in almost every respect – other than being almost impossible to crash!
What’s clever about the new systems is they both make use of GPS technology to make real-time decisions about what the car should be doing over a given stretch of road.
The NCIP system, for example, can recognise when a bend in the road is approaching by using information from the vehicles sat-nav. It then - and this is the clever part - pushes upwards on the accelerator pedal, urging the driver to ease off. Think of it as the mechanical version of a passenger ‘phantom braking’ as you come into a corner too fast. Once you’ve been ‘encouraged’ away from the accelerator, the NCIP then applies the brakes.
Nissan says that this is the world's first driving assist system focused on reducing the driver's workload by integrating navigation, accelerator pedal, powertrain and brakes.
The other trick up the new Nissan’s sleeve is ASA - active stability assist. This is a development of conventional stability control, where the vehicle compares where the driver wishes to go with where the car is actually going. The ASA system can apply braking force to each of the four wheels, or reduce engine torque to help control the speed and direction of the car.
It’s impressive technology, that’s for sure, but it’s all a bit too ‘Nanny State’ for us. After all, if you can’t judge what speed you should be entering a corner, maybe you shouldn’t be driving at all…