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Executive Insight into Active Steering Trends for Passenger Vehicles : Higher Adoption Rates Hinge on Reducing the Active Steering System Cost

  • December 2014
  • 53 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2560746


Table of Contents

Current Status
•Active steering systems across all configurations suffer low take-up rates in Europe due to the high price at which it is offered to consumers.
•The market has not witnessed much growth as consumer demand at such price points is weak and market volumes are stagnant.

Relevant Trends
•Large-scale fitment of EPS is occurring across all platforms and models by OEMs.
•The AFS system’s cost is the main challenge that hinders adoption.
•RWS systems are more expensive than AFS systems with lower adoption rates.
•Over the years, the market has stagnated with key suppliers and major OEMs deeming the system unviable.

Market Challenges
•With an added cost of about € for the end consumer for the AFS system, it is not a very enticing proposition for consumers.
•Driving down costs to less than € (sourcing price) for both AFS and RWS systems is a need for all major OEMs.
•Very few suppliers are willing to develop such systems, thereby limiting innovation.

Future Prospects
•Takata’s solution might make the system more cost-effective for OEMs to implement active steering systems on a larger scale.
•Prices of the system are expected to reduce considerably with mass market OEMs, such as Ford, bringing the technology to average users.

Active Front Steering (AFS)
•Active front steering (AFS) is a technology in which the steering input given by the driver can be varied at any given time depending on the vehicle speed.
•With the help of AFS, the steering ratio between the steering wheel and the road wheels can be actively and dynamically changed.
•At lower speeds, AFS decreases the amount by which the steering wheel needs to be turned, hence improving manoeuvrability in situations such as parking and urban traffic.
•At higher speeds, AFS provides directional stability and reduces the steering responsiveness due to higher speeds.
•If a particular driving situation does not require additional assistance, the electric motor of the actuator remains still, hence acting like a conventional steering system without amplified output.

Rear Wheel Steering (RWS)
•Rear wheel steering (RWS) is a technology in which the rear wheels of a vehicle can be turned in either the same direction or the opposite direction of the front wheels, depending on the vehicle speed and the intended turn manoeuvre.
•An electromechanical actuator system is placed at both rear wheels, which aids the steering angle to adapt to the current driving conditions, steering input, and vehicle speed.
•When the driver begins to turn the steering wheel, the steering angle on the front wheel increase. If the vehicle’s direction is changed quickly, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels.

Integral Active Steering (IAS)


•Also known as a four-wheel steering, or all-wheel steering (AWS), the integral active steering (IAS) system helps in controlling the steering angles on all four wheels in order to provide better driving dynamics, safety, and comfort.

•At low speeds, the rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction to that of the front wheels, hence reducing the turning radius and virtually shortening the wheelbase.
•At higher speeds, the rear wheels are steered in the same direction as the front wheels, thereby providing greater driving stability by virtually increasing the wheelbase.

•By having control on all four wheels, the vehicle moves laterally quickly with minimum sideslip.
•The IAS helps reduce the steering workload for the driver by varying the steering gear ratio according to the vehicle speed. The steering angle is reduced to about x % of the front wheels while parking.

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