Our World’s First Car Technology
6 MIN READ
Technology You Can Actually Use
Our History of Innovation
For luxury car drivers, the latest tech is a must. But in our age of rapid advancement, automakers can veer off course. Often enough, they release hot new features that don't put the driver first. You might not know this, but INFINITI has pioneered many new car technologies over the years. And since our launch in 1989, we've gone the extra mile to make them all driver-centric. That means they're geared toward solving problems you actually face on the road.
Here’s a look at some of our most significant World’s First Technologies, and how they minimize driving stress. Because state-of-the-art innovation should amount to more than just a wonderful new toy. It should unleash your potential at the wheel.
Meeting your need for speed, and fuel efficiency
1995: VC-Turbo Engine
What does performance mean to you? Is it a rush of instant power, or efficiency that never lets up? For decades, luxury motorists had to pick a side. But in 1995, INFINITI announced the first variable compression turbo engine (VC-Turbo). Here's why that changed the game forever.
We deal with plenty of driving scenarios that demand more than just one performance mode. Think about it. You might be stuck in traffic one moment, and on a stretch of open road the next. Based on how you use the pedals, the VC-Turbo can sense what mode you're in. It changes the way its pistons move, going from a high compression ratio to a low one and vice versa. In basic terms, it churns out more power when you need it and burns less fuel when you don't – all automatically.
More conventional engines only offer a single fixed compression ratio. They can’t really adapt like this one can. If you want to try the VC-Turbo out, it’s standard on our most advanced premium crossover: the QX50.
Change lanes when you mean to, never when you don’t
2004: Lane Departure Warning & Prevention
If you drive a lot, you know how common it is to catch other cars meandering over the line into another lane. It’s not a pretty sight, but let’s be honest, sometimes even the most vigilant of us can make the same mistake. When fatigue sets in, there’s a chance you might drift over yourself, or forget to signal before merging.
That’s why we developed Lane Departure Warning & Prevention. Introduced in 2004, this system alerts you when you start to cross the lines without signalling. If you keep going despite that first warning, it can automatically ease you back into your lane. Making subtle steering adjustments, it guides you there without fully taking over. Like the VC-Turbo engine, you can experience it firsthand on the QX50.
Better than your average backup camera
2007: Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection
Regardless of how comfortable you are with parking, an extra set of eyes can make a big difference. It’s why backup cameras have become so popular with drivers. But in 2007, INFINITI went a step further with another World's First Technology. For your parking convenience, we unveiled the Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection.
This system uses four cameras to create a virtual bird’s eye view of your car. You can access it on your in-dash display, along with separate close-ups of the front, rear and curb-side views. Each view is selectable, so you can get the full 360 perspective. Plus, it warns you when something's moving nearby – a runaway shopping cart for instance. If you feel like giving it a try, it's available on the QX50.
Because other cars can appear in a flash
2010: Blind Spot Warning & Intervention®
Sometimes, it’s hard to spot cars in the next lane, even when you’re staying on top of your shoulder checks. To detect what you might not see, INFINITI developed Blind Spot Warning® & Intervention.
Introduced in 2010, this system alerts you when another vehicle is hiding in your blind spot. If you try to change lanes, you’ll see a warning light and hear a chime, so you can steer clear of trouble. But that’s not all this world’s first tech is capable of. If you continue to cross over the lines, it can step in automatically to help guide you back to your lane. It’s a distant cousin of our Lane Departure Prevention system, and it’s also available on the QX50.
So you can hit the brakes, and not the bumper ahead
2011: Predictive Forward Collision Warning
We’ve all had close calls on the highway. You know, the kind where the driver out in front suddenly slams on the brakes. When you're in the midst of heavy traffic, you might not always see it coming.
To help you stay a step ahead, INFINITI introduced the Predictive Forward Collision Warning system. This feature tracks the speed and distance of the driver you’re following – and the car they’re following as well. When either one of them brakes too quickly, you’ll get an alert to help you react faster to the situation. That means you can lessen the severity of an impact, or avoid one altogether. Unveiled in 2011, it’s another industry first, and it's standard on the QX50.
Eyes in the back of your head, reflexes in an instant
2012: Backup Collision Intervention
Whether you’re backing out of the driveway or manoeuvring into a space, visibility to the rear can be tricky. Passengers and cargo can block your view. This is especially true if you drive a bigger vehicle, like a luxury crossover or SUV.
Thankfully there’s a way around that. In 2012, we introduced the Backup Collision Intervention system. This system monitors the area behind your car while you reverse. For starters, it alerts you when large obstacles are getting a little too close. Then, if you aren’t quick to react, it can apply the brakes automatically, so you can protect your rear bumper and avoid a collision. Like many other INFINITI innovations, this one's available on the QX50 crossover.
Go from razor-sharp handling to super smooth sailing
2014: Direct Adaptive Steering™ & Active Lane Control
Few things are more satisfying than cornering with precision. When we unveiled the world’s first steer-by-wire system in 2014, it raised the benchmark in handling. Here's a little on how Direct Adaptive Steering™ works.
Based on the terrain, this system makes up to a thousand tiny steering adjustments per second. Needless to say, that takes your natural driving abilities up another level. The best part is, it can filter out jarring vibrations from bumps and potholes. Because excitement and comfort shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.
Around the same time, INFINITI released Active Lane Control. This pioneering feature uses a high-tech camera to track the divider lines and any light swerving. Like Direct Adaptive™ Steering, it makes subtle automatic steering adjustments. But in this case, it keeps you nice and straight when driving on uneven terrain, and through crosswinds. Both of these World’s First Technologies are yours to discover on the QX50.
Discover the INFINITI QX50
Our biggest breakthroughs, under one roof
We’ve pioneered many innovations over the years. The World's First Technologies we’ve covered here are just a few. While some car companies focus on new production processes and adding trendy features, we design our cars around you. Vehicles like the QX50 are the result.