Issue: Nov 2010


TRW Launches Belt Drive Electrically Powered Steering in Europe



by James Hilton

TRW has launched production of its Belt Drive Electrically Powered Steering (EPS) technology for the European market on Ford Motor Company's Focus platform including passenger cars and derivatives such as the Ford C-Max.

The technology, which was launched in 2009 on the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ in North America, not only has the potential to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, but it also enables further integration with other electronically controlled Driver Assist Systems including Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist which help to enhance safety and comfort.

Frank Lubischer, vice president of engineering, TRW steering & suspension, said: "We have worked together with Ford to further develop a bespoke EPS solution which has received very positive feedback in the North American market and we are proud to now bring this technology to Ford's customers in Europe."

As with all TRW electromechanical steering systems, the Belt Drive system only consumes noticeable power when steering assist is needed, providing considerable fuel consumption benefits of 0.3 to 0.4 L/100km, with a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 7-8g/km when compared with hydraulic power steering.

TRW's EPS Belt Drive steering technology, also referred to as 'rack drive', brings the fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide reduction benefits of an electric steering system to higher rack load vehicles when compared with TRW's current Column Drive EPS system, which has already been launched on more than 30 vehicle models.

The system delivers a speed sensitive, positive and responsive steering feel as well as advanced functions such as pull drift compensation.

Lubischer concluded: "As government legislation continues to focus on establishing more stringent CO2 emissions targets it is clear that the demand for these technologies is set to increase and at TRW we will continue to innovate in a bid to meet - and exceed - the needs of our customers."

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