Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan North America, is to introduce a new lane departure warning system, which alerts drivers of an unintended movement of the vehicle out of a designated traffic lane, later this year. The new lane departure warning system (LDW) utilizes a small camera, speed sensor, an indicator and an audible warning buzzer. The system recognizes lane markings with 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 70 km/h.
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 LDW system is to be offered on 2005 models of Infiniti’s FX crossover sport utility vehicle, the first production application of LDW in North America. It 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.
The Infiniti Lane Departure Warning system was developed in conjunction with Valeo SA and Iteris, the latter has previously developed LDW systems for the commercial long-haul truck industry.