Infiniti's high-technology approach to safety is recognised today with the presentation 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 Infiniti 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:
- Infiniti EX37 GT Premium
- Infiniti EX30d GT Premium
- Infiniti FX30d GT Premium
- Infiniti FX30d S Premium
- Infiniti M37 S Premium
- Infiniti M37 GT Premium
- Infiniti M30d S Premium
- Infiniti M30d GT Premium
- Infiniti 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 will be presented to Infiniti 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 Infiniti 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 Infiniti 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."Published 23 February 2011