US Company Upgrading Hands-Free Steering Technology
US Company Upgrading Hands-Free Steering Technology

US Company Upgrading Hands-Free Steering Technology

US Company Upgrading Hands-Free Steering Technology

Steer-by-wire, a cornerstone technology for self-driving vehicles, could become a common feature in vehicles production within five years. A senior executive with the Michigan-based Nexteer Automotive says his company has several research and development contracts to design such systems, with possible production early next decade, Automotive News reported. “We are close,” Frank Lubischer, Nexteer’s chief technology officer tells the news website. “It’s no longer a question whether the customer wants it. It is full development ... and it will be after 2020.” Steer-by-wire appeared commercially on the Infiniti Q50 in 2013 as a feature to give drivers more choices in steering firmness. Unlike conventional steering systems, steer-by-wire eliminates the mechanical linkage between the steering column and rack that controls a vehicle’s wheels. Instead, sensors convert the steering wheel’s motion into electric signals, and electric motors turn the wheels accordingly. Steer-by-wire improves response time when a vehicle is in self-driving mode. Just as important, steer-by-wire allows for the introduction of retractable steering wheels, which do not require steering columns.


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