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Steane Klose | Apr 30, 2008

Nissan have unveiled a new concept based on the first generation Murano. As far as concepts go, this one looks a little lame but it whats on the inside that counts. Dubbed the EA2, this concept is chock-a-block full of the latest drive-by-wire or X-by-Wire technology.

The new technologies have allowed engineers to remove the mechanical linkages that have previously been vital components in the operation of steering and braking systems and even gear selection. Instead of mechanical linkages the Murano EA2 has lots of wires that transmit electrical impulses...

Most of us have driven cars with drive-by-wire throttles, even our humble home grown Commodore features this technology - Nissan are just taking it to a new level.

murano-ea2-tmr-2

The benefits are many. Weight reduction which provides improvements in efficiency, performance and emissions and increased internal space allowing for improved interior packaging being the most obvious. Safety would also be expected to improve with the removal of the steering column and pedals that are not connected by linkages to hydraulic cylinders.

The big question mark hangs over the amount of ‘feel’ that can be electronically dialed into these functions, particularly steering and braking. Nissan are claiming less effort would be required by drivers, with less turns lock-to-lock for the steering and brakes that require less pedal pressure.

X-by-Wire technology is certainly the way of the future, lets hope the manufacturers don’t lose sight of the fact that it needs to feel right as well.

PRESS RELEASE:

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., today unveiled a new concept car called "EA2" equipped with X-by-Wire technology.

X-by-Wire technology uses wires and electrical impulses instead of mechanical linkages for the control of major systems such as steering, braking and transmission. This eliminates many restrictions in how vehicle systems are integrated, allowing greater flexibility in vehicle packaging. EA2 is based on the first generation Murano crossover.

Overview of X-by-Wire technology on EA2:

Steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems: By replacing conventional mechanical linkages with by-wire technology, steering and braking systems can be re-packaged to create more internal space without changing the vehicle's overall length. On the EA2 concept, this has made it possible to add a third row of seating and capacity for seven passengers. By-wire also allows the adoption of a smaller racing-style steering wheel that requires less steering input and can be moved to facilitate easier ingress and egress. The brake-by-wire system reduces pedal travel through the use of an electrical system instead of boosters, links and hydraulic cylinders, freeing up more interior space. The adoption of steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems has resulted in an interior length of 2,600mm - 110mm more than a conventional model.

Shift-by-wire system: The shift-by-wire system allows for the installation of a movable center console, making it easier to move between the driver and front passenger seats.

X-by-wire also helps to reduce vehicle weight, resulting in gains in performance, economy and emissions.

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