Ford is enhancing vehicle maneuverability at lower speeds for its bigger vehicles. The OEM will be introducing an adaptive steering system, consisting of a gearing system and electric motor, which can add to or subtract from a driver’s steering inputs. The technology, designed and engineered in collaboration with Tier One Takata, will be used in cars including the Edge crossover and the D-segment S-Max MPV from next year. The automaker said: “The new generation of steering technology will help make vehicles easier to maneuver in tight spaces and at low speeds. At higher speeds, it will help make the vehicle fun to drive and more agile.”
The adaptive steering changes the ratio between the driver’s actions at the steering wheel and how much the front wheels turn, and will start operating at speeds above 16km/h. At motorway speeds, the system optimizes steering response, allowing the vehicle to react more precisely and smoothly to driver inputs. Ford’s system utilizes a precision controlled actuator placed inside the steering column and needs no changes to the driver airbag or change to a vehicle’s conventional steering system.