Nissan Motor Co.
plans to equip some of its luxury cars with a system to control steering electronically, rather than mechanically, the first time so-called "steer-by-wire" technology will be used in mass-produced vehicles.
The new technology will be introduced in some models of the Infiniti brand within a year, Nissan said at a briefing, paving the way for cars that could one day be steered by joysticks and be programed to avoid crashes automatically.
Traditionally, the steering wheel of a car and the tires are linked mechanically, giving the driver direct feedback about steering from the tires on the road.
Using steer-by-wire, inputs made by the driver through the steering wheel are transmitted to a computerized engine control unit, which instructs an actuator how to move the tires.