Ford is planning to bring a new generation of steering technology to its vehicles that will help with manoeuvrability at low speeds and in tight spaces. At higher speeds, the new technology will also help to make the vehicle more agile and fun to drive.
With Adaptive Steering, the ratio between the driver's actions and how much the front wheels turn, continually changes with the vehicle speed - optimising manoeuvrability. In traditional vehicles, this steering ratio is fixed.
At slower speeds and when parking, the new system will make the vehicle more agile and easier to turn, by dialling more steering into the road wheel, requiring less turning of the steering wheel. At higher speed, the system will further optimise the steering response, enabling the vehicle to react more smoothly and precisely to the driver's input. Adaptive steering will also help the driver to feel more comfortable behind the wheel and will make driving more enjoyable.
The new system from Ford will use a precision-controlled actuator - an electric motor and gearing system - placed inside the steering wheel, that will require no change to the vehicle's traditional steering system.
The actuator can essentially add to or subtract from a driver's steering inputs. The result; a better driving experience at all speeds, regardless of the vehicle size or class - as can be seen in the short video below.
Adaptive Steering will be available on selected new Ford cars and commercial vehicles from as early as the beginning of next year. First announced, is the new Ford Edge Crossover, which will be unveiled officially later in the Summer, with sales starting in 2015.
Adaptive Steering is also earmarked for all future large Fords as standard, so we can probably expect to see it on the new Ford S-MAX, as well as future iterations of the Mondeo and Kuga, among others.
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