New Ford Fiesta's steering system optimises control and safety

New Ford Fiesta's steering system optimises control and safety  
Filed under:
Hatchbacks, Technology, Ford
on 05/02/2009

Source: Ford

The all-new Ford Fiesta's advanced steering technology automatically maintains safety and accuracy by compensating for normal service wear in the tyres and suspension.

Ford's Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system helps deliver improved fuel economy, great manoeuvrability and responsive handling as well as compensating automatically for the small suspension and tyre changes that are a normal part of service wear.

Fitted as standard across the Ford Fiesta range, EPAS incorporates "pull-drift compensation" which automatically makes the subtle steering corrections often required during a car's normal life after tyre and suspension wear.

Impacts with pot-holes or kerb stones, or even differences in tyre pressure, can introduce small variations to the suspension geometry. Without EPAS to intervene, they would require slight steering correction by the driver.

Pull-drift compensation uses computer software to identify when this is happening, and applies imperceptible steering adjustment to eliminate the effect before the driver is even aware.

Professor Dr Pim van der Jagt, of Ford Vehicle Dynamics, said: “Research tells us that drivers can be irritated by minor pulling or drifting on their vehicle. This technology helps us to avoid this, while retaining all of the positive benefits offered by Ford's EPAS system.”

The pull-drift compensation system is designed so that steering correction cannot exceed a pre-set level, ensuring that it will not mask defects requiring workshop attention.

EPAS on the new Ford Fiesta replaces the traditional hydraulic power-assisted system of previous models. The electric system has been fine-tuned for reduced effort while parking, but gives reassuringly firmer steering, with accurate and involving feedback, at higher speeds.

EPAS also delivers a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by operating only when steering assistance is required to reduce power consumption.

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