How do you feel about Infiniti’s Blind Spot Intervention and Eco Pedal systems, which will be fitted to the new M model?
The Blind Spot Intervention system functions like a normal warning system by detecting cars within the driver’s blind spot and issuing a warning. But if the driver pulls out anyway, the M will take evasive action, and automatically turn the steering to bring car back into its lane.
The Eco Pedal technology works first by offering gentle resistance if the driver pushes the accelerator hard down.
Put like that, it all sounds a bit Big Brother, doesn’t it? Enthusiastic drivers may even see it as the first step to the car driving them, rather than the other way round.
Well, 18 months ago I went to Nissan’s test centre near Yokohama and tried the prototype versions of both these technologies – and, sure enough, there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
The Blind Spot Intervention System works by applying the brakes to the relevant wheels via the stability control system and inducing a slight yaw movement on the car. It serves to gently pull the car back into its lane and is wholly undramatic. It’s easy to over-ride, too, if, for instance, you are taking evasive action and need to pull across lanes in a hurry.
As for the Eco Pedal, I remember being slightly red-faced and having to ask to drive round again and for a second run on the demo course, as I hadn’t been able to feel it kick in the first time. Even then, it worked so subtly I had to really convince myself it was happening.
So there's nothing to worry about yet (and if that doesn’t reassure you, both systems had an ‘off’ switch on the cars I tested).