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Advanced Lane Departure Warning System Set to Debut
System Helps Prevent Drivers From Drifting Out of Lanes –
Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan North America, today announced the availability later this year of a new Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system, which alerts drivers of an unintended movement of the vehicle out of a designated traffic lane. The new system, which utilizes a small camera, speed sensor, an indicator and an audible warning buzzer, will be offered this fall on 2005 models of Infiniti’s popular FX crossover sport utility vehicle – the first production application of LDW in North America. The LDW system will also be available on the next generation M45 performance luxury sedan, which is scheduled to go on sale in spring 2005 as a 2006 model.
“Studies show that 55% of fatal accidents in the U.S. are caused by lane departure*,” said Robert Yakushi, Director, Product Safety, Regulatory, Accessory Quality, Nissan North America, Inc. “These are caused by various factors, including driver distraction, inattention or drowsiness. The Lane Departure Warning system generates a warning to help alert the driver that the vehicle is about to move out of its lane.”
*Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration 2003 study based on 2001 data
The Infiniti LDW system is temporarily disabled by driver activation of the vehicle’s turn signals, which informs the system’s control unit of intended lane changes. The system also features a manual cancel switch, which allows the driver to turn the system off when desired. The system automatically resets when the vehicle is restarted.
The Infiniti Lane Departure System recognizes lane markings through the use of a small camera mounted behind the rearview mirror. The camera’s signal and the vehicle’s speed are sent to the system’s advanced microprocessing unit, which combines the information to calculate both the distance between the vehicle and the lane marking and the lateral velocity to the lane marking. A judgment is then made as to whether the vehicle is moving out of the lane (depending on the distance and lateral velocity to the lane).
If it is determined that the vehicle is leaving the lane, both visual (indicator light located on the instrument panel) and audible (buzzer) warning signals are generated, alerting the driver to take corrective action. The system will not operate if the camera can’t detect the lane markers or if vehicle’s speed is below 45 miles per hour.
“Some of the typical scenarios where the Lane Departure Warning system will warn the drivers when they are not giving 100% of their attention to driving and drift out of their lanes of travel are, for example, adjusting the audio system, looking at other occupants, searching for addresses or landmarks when driving on unfamiliar roads, or when concentrating on conversations rather than driving,” said Yakushi.
The Infiniti Lane Departure Warning system was developed in conjunction with Valeo SA and Iteris, Inc., the latter that has previously developed LDW systems for the commercial long-haul truck industry.
About the Infiniti FX and M45
The Infiniti FX premium crossover SUV is available in three models, the FX45 with a standard 315-horsepower 4.5-liter V8 engine and advanced ATESSA ET-S™ all-wheel drive system, the FX35 AWD with 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and the FX35 RWD with the 3.5-liter V6.
Currently available technology and safety features include an advanced DVD-based Infiniti Navigation System, Intelligent Key with keyless entry and engine start system, Tire Pressure Monitor System and RearView monitor. The RearView monitor projects a view of what’s behind the FX onto the navigation system monitor using a small camera mounted near the rear license plate (the system operates only when reverse gear is selected). Also available is Infiniti’s Intelligent Cruise Control system, which uses the brakes, throttle and laser sensors, to help maintain a set distance between the FX and a vehicle in front of it.
A preview of the new, second generation 2006 M45 will be available beginning April 8, 2004 when Infiniti debuts a show car version, the M45 Concept, at the New York International Auto Show. In addition to the new Lane Departure Warning system, the production Infiniti M45 will offer an Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage front supplemental air bags and roof-mounted side-impact curtain air bags and Brake-Operated Pre-Crash Front Seat Belts.
“Infiniti has long been a leader in utilizing technology for the benefit of the driving experience – including our Intelligent Cruise Control, voice-recognition based navigation and RearView monitor systems.” Said Mark Igo, vice president and general manger, Infiniti. “The arrival of Lane Departure Warning is an important first for Infiniti.”