Ford Motor Company has unveiled a new Adaptive Steering system that promises to enhance the driving experience of any vehicle at any speed. Unlike conventional fixed-ratio designs, Ford's Adaptive Steering setup literally changes the ratio of turns of the steering wheel to the turning angle of the front tires. At low speeds, the setup increases the relative input, making it easier to maneuver the vehicle in tighter confines like parking lots or crowded city streets. When the pace quickens, Adaptive Steering reverses the effect, yielding smoother, more precise responses that impart a more agile overall feel to the vehicle.
Developed in collaboration with technical partner Tanaka Corporation, Ford's Adaptive Steering system uses a precision-controlled actuator unit positioned inside the steering wheel but requires no other changes to the basic steering setup. The actuator consists of an electric motor and gearing system that uses a control algorithm to precisely add or subtract from the driver's steering inputs as real-time conditions dictate. While not indicating which "select" models would be the first to benefit from its new Adaptive Steering, Ford indicated the system can be used on any type of vehicle regardless of its size, type or class.
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