April 1, 2004

Infiniti to introduce first lane departure warning system

Gardena, California – Later this year, Infiniti will introduce 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 FX crossover sport utility vehicle. 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.”

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.

*Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration 2001

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