Nexteer builds on electronic architecture for electronic power steering01 May 2012
Nexteer Automotive has developed an innovative electronic architecture for its electric power steering (EPS) systems that will make integration of new electronic features faster and provide greater functional safety. The architecture gives manufacturers a single, customizable 12-volt platform for all passenger vehicle types, from low-cost micro-cars to the highest-specification luxury SUVs.
"The industry's migration from hydraulic to electric power steering as a key part of CO2 reduction strategies has led to record orders for Nexteer's premium-feel EPS technology in the past two years," says Laurent Bresson, vice president, global sales and marketing and COO, international division.
"The new architecture's ability to deliver higher rack forces and customized electronic functions will help EPS migrate into new applications, creating further growth for Nexteer and exciting career opportunities for our expanding team," he adds.
"The architecture will enable manufacturers to introduce new, increasingly complex steering functions," said Bertram Moeller, network leader, systems engineering Europe, Nexteer Automotive. "Instead of using standardized architectures for different vehicles classes, Nexteer's single, highly flexible architecture adapts to suit individual customer requirements and future-proof platforms. The architecture also allows us to provide more power to the EPS, so that it can steer any passenger vehicle using a standard 12-volt supply."
Development of electrical architectures for EPS is driven by a number of related factors. The introduction of new functional safety standard ISO 26262 is a major driver with compliance made more important after recent high-profile competitor product recalls. The introduction of the Autosar standardized software architecture also increases CPU memory requirements. At the same time a rise in the number of more complex functions, such as lane-keeping assistance, where multiple systems communicate, has increased the need for new communication structures, such as dual CANbus and FlexRay.
"Whereas a few years ago, customer specification sheets contained just two or three steering functions, a list of 20 is now common," said Moeller. "To provide the substantial increase in processing power needed, Nexteer is using a new family of ISO 26262-compliant dual-core processors scalable in memory to 10 times than today with much higher processing speed. The first full implementation of the new electrical architecture enters production in 2013."
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