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Products and solutions, 2005-09-12, 10:03 AM

ThyssenKrupp Presta presents electric steering systems of the future

At IAA 2005, ThyssenKrupp Presta is presenting a glimpse of the future. A system integrating various electric steering technologies will be used to present all the steering and assistance functions planned for future vehicle generations. A simulator at the ThyssenKrupp Automotive booth will allow visitors to try out a selection of these functions for themselves.

The system presented comprises a steering column with an electric steering angle actuator SIA (Super Imposed Actuator) and an electromechanical steering gear ParPAS (Parallel Power Assisted Steering).

The SIA steering angle actuator is a modular system which can be integrated in the steering column without any special packaging requirements and with no effect on crash performance. Via a superimposing gear, a brushless synchronous motor allows the steering angle to be set freely, independent of driver input. This opens the way to an array of functionalities, such as speed-sensitive steering ratio or superimposition of the steering angle by driver assistance systems.

In addition to conventional steering assistance, the ParPAS Parallel Power Assisted Steering system ? an electromechanical steering gear with motor arranged parallel to the steering rack ? permits the steering torque to be varied as required. The torque from the electric motor is converted into longitudinal force on the steering rack via belt and ball screw. In addition to the variable steering torque through to autonomous steering and the resultant individual functions, ParPAS offers several further advantages over conventional steering gears: in addition to reducing fuel consumption through the ?power on demand? function, the system dispenses with the use of hydraulic oil, enhancing the environmental performance of the vehicles in which it is fitted.

The steering system resulting from the combination of both technologies allows variable steering angle and steering torque. In terms of functionality it therefore matches steer-by-wire systems, but has the key advantage of a direct mechanical link and the ability to be powered by the 12 volt electrical system of today?s cars. Possible steering functions include pre-selected steering ratio and torque characteristics for comfortable or sporty driving, a link to an ESP system, corrective steering measures and steering recommendations. Given the requisite sensors in the car, automatic driving and parking can also be realized, with scope for driver intervention.

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