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2013 Infiniti JX35: Getting Us One Step Closer To A Driverless Car

The Technology Package

Spending $3,100 on the Technology Package, which includes the Driver Assistance Package, yields even more cool extras. The $900 premium adds Infiniti’s Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) technologies, along with Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), which upgrades the BSW system with active intervention capabilities.

Lane Departure Technologies

As if Infiniti doesn't already deploy enough cameras, the lane departure technologies add another pair above the rear-view mirror. The system uses them to monitor the distance between the JX35 and lane markers. LDP is simple in that it uses the camera information to warn you with an annoying noise if you start to drift.

LDP takes a more proactive approach, lending a hand to keep the JX35 within its lane markers. You might think it'd use electric power steering to guide the car using its front wheels. However, LDP actually applies braking on the wheels opposite of the lane you're drifting toward to bring it back.

Blind Spot Intervention System

Blind Spot Intervention (BSI) upgrades the BSW system with a more...shall we say forceful aid? Utilizing the ultra-sonic proximity sensors from the BSW technology, BSI harnesses the braking capability introduced in the LDP feature, discussed above. By applying brakes to the left- or right-side wheels, this system is designed to keep you from drifting into another vehicle when it detects an obstacle in your blind spot. You're taken back into your lane, hopefully with no harm done.

In Use: LDP And BSI

Although they sound pretty confidence-inspiring on paper, we found LDP and BSI to be a little more spotty in the real world. LDP, specifically, incorporates a lot of cool technology, but it was not 100% effective, and triggered a number of misreads. We purposely let the JX35 veer several times. Sometimes LDP helped being the vehicle back into its lane. But much of the time it just sounded an alarm and failed to step in. Granted, it rains a lot in Washington, and the windshield needs to be clear to keep the cameras functional. But our tests were run on clear sunny days.

BSI is more effective thanks to its reliance on ultra-sonic sensors. More assertive (read: aggressive) drivers will find the blind spot system's conservative nature and active intervention to be more obnoxious than helpful, though.