Germany-based auto supplier ZF has launched its first column drive steering system in the US market on the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass, a product which the company claims it brings many advantages of electric steering technologies to U.S. consumers.
“With the launch of our latest column drive EPS, ZF is bringing cost and environmental benefits to automakers and their customers,” said Thilo Bitzer, vice President of Steering Engineering for the Active and Passive Safety Technology division.
“The technology can deliver a fuel saving of up to 4% with a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions when compared to a conventional mechanical rack and pinion steering system.”
Additionally, electric steering can be integrated with other systems to yield functions such as lane keeping assist/lane centering, which Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) implemented on a number of vehicles with the help of ZF camera technology. The system can also help provide further benefits such as side wind compensation and speed sensitive steering for greater assist at lower speed (such as parking maneuvers) and a tighter steering feel at higher speeds.
“EPS will also play a key role in vehicle control for future semi- and fully automated vehicles and ZF is already building in redundant circuits and features to help assure fault tolerant operation of the system,” Bitzer added.
ZF first started production of its EPS technology in 2001 and has since produced more than 30 million units for customers worldwide. This particular system is sold to FCA globally and is manufactured in Mexico for the Jeep Compass, which is built at the FCA Toluca Assembly plant.