With the development of technology, automobile manufacturers are turning to smarter and more efficient systems. One of the last examples of this is speed sensing steering systems. Speed sensing steering systems are briefly defined as a hybrid of hydraulic and manual steering systems.
It is obvious that most vehicles today have a power steering system and power steering provides great convenience to the driver. However, power steering also has some disadvantages. Belts and oil need to be serviced every few years. What’s more, their pumps don’t last forever either. It is a well-known fact that the hydraulic system puts an extra weight on the vehicles. Most importantly, since the pump is driven by the main crank in the engine, it increases fuel consumption by utilizing the power of the engine. On the other hand, it takes a lot of arm force to turn the manual steering wheels at low speeds. All these reasons increase the motivation of drivers to prefer speed-sensing steering wheels. Because the speed sensing steering system offers drivers the opportunity to experience the best aspects of hydraulic and manual steering together.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the speed sensing steering system that eliminates the disadvantages of the hydraulic and manual steering world and how it works.
What Is Speed Sensing Steering System?
While there is a mechanical structure in manual steering wheels, in hydraulic systems, the steering wheels work with the help of a pump in the engine. The speed-sensing steering system, also known as electric power steering, is electrically powered.
The speed sensing steering system applies different force supports to the driver depending on the speed of the vehicle. This system, which is quite common in modern cars, aims to reduce fuel consumption and offer a smarter driving pleasure.
So what does the speed sensing steering system do? First of all, this system aims to provide more grip and control to the driver, no matter what speed the vehicle is moving. It provides an extra power assist to the steering wheel to facilitate the driver in actions such as maneuvering or parking. In addition, it also provides a safer driving opportunity to the driver by reducing the power assist given to the steering wheel thanks to the speed detection system in high-speed driving. As a result, drivers feel a bit of weight on the steering wheel when driving at high speeds. This allows the driver to make sharper moves.
The speed sensing steering wheel can be operated in different modes as it has an electronic system. Drivers can change the amount of force applied to the steering wheel at any time. This can be seen as one of the biggest reasons that increase driving pleasure. On the other hand, it eliminates the tiring experience created by manual steering with the support it provides while cruising at low speeds.
How Does Speed Sensing Steering Work?
So how does this system, which is designed to offer the driver a more comfortable and more enjoyable driving experience, works? Now let’s see how the system works step by step…
- First of all, there is an electric motor connected to the steering wheel in the system.
- Power assistance to the steering wheel is determined by a series of sensors and modules in the electronic control unit.
- The electronic control unit detects the torque applied by the driver to the steering wheel, the angle of the steering wheel and the speed of the vehicle and determines the power assistance to be given.
- The input torque applied by the driver to the steering wheel is found with the help of a sensor and torsion bar.
- When the driver turns the steering wheel, the rod twists and the applied torque is measured by the sensor.
- When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the system detects this and sends some information to the steering wheel.
- As a result of this information, the system reduces the power support given to the steering wheel depending on the amount of speed.
- Likewise, when the driver presses the brakes, the power support given to the steering wheel increases with the help of sensors.
- An extra aid is applied that increases the driver’s driving ability during maneuvers when the vehicle is stationary or at low speeds such as parking.
What Happens If The Speed Sensing Steering Fails?
Cables or an electronic control unit may be the source of a problem with speed-sensing steering wheels. What occurs then if the system malfunctions? When this kind of defect is found, some vehicles switch back to full power steering mode. However, not all cars operate in this manner. When the speed-sensing steering box malfunctions, some cars start to steer manually.