Reducing driving stress and contributing to more pleasant driving
NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Toshihiro Uchiyama) today announced that it has developed an electrical power steering (EPS) system equipped with Active On-Centering (steering wheel return) control. This new control system reduces driver’s stress when driving a vehicle and improves pleasure. NSK will sell this product worldwide.
When the driver returns a steering wheel to a center position during driving, the driver’s intention of car movement/trajectory may be off due to a different direction between steering operation and the car heading. If the steering wheel does not smoothly return to the center position especially when making large turn at intersection and then moving straight forward, or when making small corrections when driving straight, the driver must make large corrective operation or repeated corrective operations. As a result, pleasant driving is degraded.
To solve this issue, NSK modified the control for adjusting the optimal steering wheel return and changing assistant force. This helps prevent worsening return trajectories (e.g., wheel does not return to center position, uneven returning speed) due to variable amount of mechanical friction and tire counterforce, and makes it possible for the steering wheel to smoothly return to the on-center position.
Also, by enabling steering wheel movement to match automobile characteristics, driver’s stress is reduced. This system significantly contributes to pleasant, comfortable, stable, stress-free driving.
NSK is committed to the application of state-of-the-art technology for improved safety, comfort, and environmental performance of automobiles. Going forward, NSK plans to continue to grow the global sales of its steering technology business by improving its products and expanding local procurement and local production.
* Active On-Centering control: This function makes assistant force for easy handling when the driver returns the steering wheel to the center position. Also, because it is easier for the driver to find driving straight (steering on-center position), it is easier to assess and control car movement when turning the steering wheel left and right.