Quinton Hazell gives CVW a rundown on why manufacturers are turning towards electric power steering in light and medium commercial vehicles.
If you’re a fleet manager of commercial vehicles, you are constantly looking for ways to improve safety and reduce running costs.
One of the most recent methods is Electronic Power Steering (EPS), which is reported to become a
factory fitting in half of LCVs and MCVs by 2021, replacing the traditional Hydraulic Power Steering system. This technology is under a decade old, but is already an optional extra in cars and LCVs, as well as selected MCVs.
Quinton Hazell says its Product Team will be keeping a close eye on these developments over the next few years, so that the company can support its manufacturing and offering of the correct replacement steering components for the most popular steering systems in LCVs. As early as 2016, Daimler developed Electrohydraulic Power Steering (EHPS) as an option on its Citaro city buses with a gross weight of over 7.5 tonnes. This has reduced the weight of the vehicle, decreased fuel consumption and increased safety.
These improvements are now necessary as government legislation becomes tighter and there is a greater
consideration of fossil fuel usage, especially in busy city centres. For now however, these systems are not possible in the majority of commercial vehicles, as current EPS systems cannot cope with the heavier front axle load of HGVs.
Many mass market manufacturers will begin by installing partial electric systems in order to work towards a fully electric system. With the weight and fuel consumption benefits in mind, EPS systems could become the spearhead for an array of safety and driver assistance functionalities, such as lane keeping assist, lane centring assist and active cruise control. EPS systems could also be integrated into fully electric or hybrid commercial vehicles.
These systems, as well as many others currently in development all across the commercial vehicle parts list, are helping to pave the way for on-board connected vehicle technologies and, in the long run, the development of autonomous commercial vehicles.