ROLLE, Switzerland (23 February 2011) – Infiniti’s high-technology approach to safety is recognised today with the presentation in Geneva of the Euro NCAP Advanced Award for road safety innovation. One of just 11 awards so far made by the independent crash test consortium, it recognizes the potentially life-saving benefits of Infiniti’s Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system – and the luxury maker’s drive to include it in as many models in the range as possible.
LDP helps drivers return the vehicle to its travelling lane by giving a warning and then making a dynamic intervention if an unintended departure out of that lane – through drowsiness or inattention – is likely. With lane drift resulting in a large proportion of accidents involving fatal and/or serious injuries, Infiniti predicts that around 5000 deaths a year in Europe could be prevented if LDP were fitted to every vehicle.
“At Infiniti we believe cutting-edge technology such as LDP can improve people’s lives and to have Euro NCAP’s endorsement of that is very gratifying,” said Toru Saito, Corporate Vice President and Leader of the Global Infiniti Business Unit.
“This award will ensure we redouble our efforts not just to introduce more advanced safety technologies but to make them available to as many of our customers as possible. Technology alone is not enough if it is left to languish on an options list.”
When LDP made its debut on the FX30d in 2010 it represented a first in Europe. Since then LDP has rapidly spread through the range and is currently standard fit on the following models:
• EX37 GT Premium
• EX30d GT Premium
• FX30d GT Premium
• FX30d S Premium
• M37 S Premium
• M37 GT Premium
• M30d S Premium
• M30d GT Premium
• M35h GT Premium
LDP is just one part of Infiniti’s Dynamic Safety Shield, a suite of technologies designed to offer a “bubble” of protection around the car. Other systems include Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Low Speed Following, Distance Control Assist (DCA), Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW).
The latest Dynamic Safety Shield innovation is the world-first side collision protection system, Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), standard on all Premium versions of the new M sedan range. As with LDP, this goes further than rival systems, which commonly offer a warning only, by adding a dynamic intervention. It comes in the form of slight braking pressure on one side of the car to help keep the Infiniti from being steered into the path of another vehicle.
The Euro NCAP Advanced Award for LDP is being presented to Infiniti today at the 81st International Geneva Motor Show. The awards were introduced in 2010 to reward today’s best safety innovations and recognize car manufacturers that make available new safety technologies “which demonstrate a scientifically proven safety benefit for consumers and society.”
The awards complement Euro NCAP’s crash test program in which Infiniti already shines: in 2009 the FX achieved a top five-star result which included a remarkable 99% score in the then-new “safety assist” element of the testing – a reflection of both the FX’s highly advanced safety systems and the fact that the majority of them are standard in every version.
Euro NCAP said: “By rewarding technologies, Euro NCAP provides an incentive to manufacturers to accelerate the standard fitment of important safety equipment across their model ranges and help the car buyer make the right purchase decision.”
LANE DEPARTURE PREVENTION – A GUIDE
What is LDP?
A camera-based technology which helps drivers return the vehicle to its travelling lane when an unintentional lane departure is likely. If the driver has not used the turn indicators and the car is about to cross the lane marker, a warning signal illuminates on the dashboard and an audible signal is given. At the same time, gentle braking is applied to two wheels on one side of the car in order to create a yaw effect and assist the driver return the car to the centre of its travelling lane.
What is the safety benefit?
Unintended lane departure can have several causes: driver fatigue, impairment, inattention or distraction. Whatever the cause, the consequences can be serious, a frontal collision into oncoming traffic being a common outcome. Lane departure is a factor in a large proportion of accidents involving fatal and/or serious injuries. Infiniti predicts that, if LDP were fitted to all vehicles, some 12% of all road fatalities in Europe – around 5000 deaths - could be prevented annually.
How easy is it to live with?
Lane Departure Prevention can be switched on when the driver decides it is required. However, even without LDP switched on, the driver will still be given the audible and visual warnings for an unintended lane departure. The camera, mounted at the top of the windscreen, recognises most common types of lane markings in Europe – white and yellow, continuous and dashed – in daylight and at night. If there are no lane markers, or the system is not able to recognise the lines (for example, unusual markings in road works or mud on the road), the system will not function effectively. The system is intended to work on straight highways, not around town, and only at speeds of more than 70km/h in order not to irritate or distract the driver with unnecessary warnings.
Notes to editors
• Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Program) organizes crash-tests and provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe.
Established in 1997, Euro NCAP is composed of seven European governments as well as motoring and consumer organisations in every European country. For more information on Euro NCAP: http://www.euroncap.com/home.aspx
• Full specifications and pricing of the entire Infiniti range can be downloaded now from www.infinitipress.eu
• Infiniti comes from Japan. Its line-up of performance sedans, coupés, convertibles, SUVs and crossovers is now being launched across the globe through a dedicated network of Infiniti Centres or dealerships which share a commitment to individualised and exceptional customer service. For more information, see Infiniti.com
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