June 5, 2014
Ford Motor Company is planning to develop to new generation of steering technology for its vehicles which will enable them to maneuver at low speeds and in tight spaces. At higher speeds, it will help make the vehicle peppier and more agile.
Raj Nair, the VP of global product development at Ford Group said, "This new steering technology can make any vehicle easier to maneuver and more fun to drive." Ford's adaptive steering changes the ratio between the driver's actions at the steering wheel—the number of turns—and how much the front wheels turn. In traditional vehicles, this is a fixed steering ratio.
With this form of steering, the ratio constantly changes with speed, optimizing the steering response in all conditions. At lower speeds, such as when pulling into a parking space or maneuvering in tight quarters, the new system makes the vehicle easier to turn. Each low-speed maneuver requires less turning of the steering wheel. At highway speeds, the system further optimizes steering response, which will allow the car to react more smoothly and precisely to driver input. Adaptive steering can help the driver feel more comfortable and can make any drive more enjoyable.
According to the company, adaptive steering will be available on select vehicles beginning next year. The system was developed for production by the car maker in collaboration with Takata, a leading supplier of automotive steering and safety systems, and a Ford Aligned Business Framework partner.
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