Nexteer Automotive in Auburn Hills has launched a new high-output electric power steering system that the company says delivers advanced safety and comfort features as well as enhanced fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks and light commercial vehicles.
The new high-output EPS increases the steering capacity of Nexteer’s Rack-Assist EPS (REPS) system and can steer up to 24 kilonewtons (5,395.41 pounds of force) of load compared with 10-15 kN (2,248.09 to 3,372.13 pounds of force) for a typical REPS system.
By equipping their vehicles with this system, heavy-duty truck and LCV operators can benefit from savings at the gas pump and from advanced features such as lane keep assist, crosswind compensation, trailer assist, and others.
“With Nexteer’s high-output EPS system, larger vehicles like heavy-duty trucks can now be steered with an electric system instead of a hydraulic one – opening the door for EPS’s advanced safety, comfort, and fuel efficiency while staying true to the truck brand’s steering feel,” says Robin Milavec, senior vice president, executive board director, chief technology and chief strategy officer at Nexteer Automotive.
“As a steering specialist and the global leader in steering technologies for trucks, we are never satisfied with the status quo, which is why we continue to push research and development activities that continuously improve our EPS offerings and benefit our OEM customers and drivers.”
With much of the HD truck and LCV market currently using hydraulic power steering systems, high-output EPS offers automotive OEMs an opportunity to differentiate their HD trucks and LCVs in a competitive marketplace for consumer attention and loyalty, according to Nexteer.
High-output EPS also can be utilized on heavy electric vehicles. Steering up to 24 kN of load on a 12-volt electrical system would have been thought to be unachievable just a few years ago, but now that capability exists with high-output EPS, Nexteer says.
To date, the supplier has booked three electric applications for high-output EPS, including a full-size electric pick-up truck, an electric delivery van, and an electric autonomous Level 4 people mover (with no steering wheel).