Ford Motor Company is bringing a new generation of steering technology that will help make vehicles easier to manoeuvre at low speeds and in tight spaces. At higher speeds, the same technology is supposed to help make the vehicle more agile and fun to drive.
Adaptive steering changes the ratio between the number of turns and how much the front wheels turn. In traditional vehicles, this is a fixed steering ratio. With Ford’s new Adaptive Steering, the steering ratio continually changes with vehicle speed, optimizing the steering response in all conditions. At lower speeds, such as when pulling into a parking space or manoeuvring in tight quarters, the new system dials more steering into the road wheel. Each low-speed manoeuvre requires less turning of the steering wheel. At highway speeds, the system further optimizes steering response, enabling the vehicle to react more smoothly and precisely to driver input.
Ford’s system uses a precision controlled actuator placed inside the steering wheel, and requires no change to a vehicle’s traditional steering system. The actuator is an electric motor and gearing system and it can essentially add to or subtract from a driver’s steering inputs. Raj Nair, VP of Global Product Development at Ford, commented, “First and foremost, all Ford Motor Company products have to offer a great driving experience. This new steering technology can make any vehicle easier to manoeuvre and more fun to drive.”