Nexteer Automotive unveiled two new steering technologies at the North American International Auto Show: Steering on Demand System and Quiet Wheel Steering.
Steering on Demand enables the transition between driver and automated driving control through safe, intuitive steering transitions for vehicles capable of SAE Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5 automated driving. The system also empowers the driver to tailor his driving experience through various driving performance options including a sport, comfort and manual override mode.
Quiet Wheel Steering modifies the steering wheel rotation when a vehicle completes an automated directional change. Because the steering wheel remains still during automated driving, potential hazards of a fast rotating steering wheel are eliminated and the driver's safety and sense of security are enhanced. Vehicles equipped with Quiet Wheel Steering may also be fitted with a stowable column that automatically retracts into the dashboard when automated driving is engaged, increasing available space for driver comfort and other activities.
"The pace of re-defining mobility has increased exponentially. Consequently, we're innovating in not just what we do, but how we do it," said Frank Lubischer, head of global engineering, chief technology officer and chief strategy officer, Nexteer Automotive. "The traditional automotive development methods have been quite sequential and linear, typically taking an idea to production readiness over several years; whereas, a disruptive, parallel method of rapid prototyping and user tests moves much faster. We've blended these two methods into our version of an iterative, rapid prototyping and design approach. This lets us quickly develop, prototype, improve and then move an idea on to the next stage of industrialisation."
"These technologies are intended to make the automated driving experience more intuitive and safe as the industry evolves into this enhanced form of mobility," he added.
Both introductions use steer-by-wire technology. While steer-by-wire does not require a mechanical link between the road wheels and steering wheel, the supplier can tune the system for premium steering feel and responsiveness. Reliable system performance is also enhanced through system integration of sensors and mechanical technologies.