I already have two other threads on the Infinity self driving car features – one thread about the adaptive cruise control and one thread about the active lane control features, but to me the most important aspect of this technology is safety. To me, the collision avoidance technology is the most important, although the other features are more fun and nice luxuries, and portend the future of more automated driving.
As for collision avoidance, the Infiniti does offer collision warning followed by automated braking and it earned a superior rating from the IIHS, which is the only organization I am aware of that does objective testing on these safety features. They basically do a crash test at 12mph and another at 25mph. The car earns points for having a collision warning system, and then points based on how much the safety feature is able to slow the car before the collision. Obviously bringing the car to a complete stop before collision is the goal. For the Infiniti Q50, it obtained the superior rating by being able to reduce the speed by 12mph when tested at 12mph (but must not have avoided the collision as other vehicles report avoiding a collision when they did so) and was able to reduce the speed by 24mph during the 25mph test. While not perfect, this is one of the better systems earning it a superior rating. The Q70 was able to stop the vehicle in the 12mph test, but only reduced the speed by 22mph in the 25mph test.
Interestingly, the QX50 did much worse, only slowing the car by 1mph in the 12mph test and 5mph in the 25mph test. The QX60 did even worse, only slowing the car by 1mph in the 12 mph test and 4mph in the 25mph test. The QX70 was able to slow the car 2mph in the 12mph test and by 5mph in the 25mph test.
These results for the SUV models are very disappointing to me. The manufacturers are promoting these safety features, but they seem significantly inferior to me. I’m not sure if it is the vehicle weight that is the problem for their SUV models or if they are not detecting stationary vehicles earlier enough.
I forgot to include that Infiniti is one of the few companies to offer autobrake when you are going in reverse and about to have a collision. I’m not aware of any testing done on this, but it does seem to be a great feature, if it works. Rear cross traffic alert is becoming much more common from various manufacturers, but I don’t recall seeing any of the others include braking when a collision while backing up is likely. Hopefully more cars will include this.