It turns out that right before the 2014 Infiniti Q50 had been named the Techiest Vehicle of the Year by TechHive.com—as reported here —the car’s breakthrough advance had earned the automotive Grand Award in this year’s Popular Science Best of What’s New voting.
That would be Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering, which is the first drive-by-wire steering system ever offered in a production vehicle. Simply put, the technology eliminates the traditional, mechanical connection between the car’s tiller and the front wheels; instead, it relies on electronics to transmit driver inputs from the steering wheel to the road, as well as to provide appropriate levels of feedback to the driver. The benefits, according to Michael Bartsch, vice-president of Infiniti Americas: “It is more precise, quicker, less tiring, easier to keep the vehicle in the center of the lane, and allows previously unattainable levels of driver personalization. Someday all vehicles will have steer-by-wire, today we are the only one.”
As well as serving up a unique driving experience in the 2014 Infiniti Q50, the setup was further praised by Popular Science as “one of the biggest steps yet toward” the development of fully autonomous vehicles.
Also being recognized as part of Pop Sci’s Best of What’s New program, designed to highlight the “innovations that are reshaping the future right before our eyes,” were …