DETROIT--While the switch to electric power steering will boost fuel economy, it also opens the door to driver-friendly features for Ford vehicles--specifically, parallel-parking assist and a torque-assist feature that reduces driver effort on crowned road surfaces.
By 2012, 90 percent of Ford's vehicles, including light-duty trucks, will be equipped with standard electric power steering, replacing hydraulic steering.
"It improves fuel economy by 3 to 5 percent--which, depending on the size of the vehicle and the engine, equates to somewhere between 0.4 and a full 1 mpg," said Ali Jammoul, chief engineer of North American chassis.
Ford is purchasing electric power steering systems from Delphi and TRW Automotive. Valeo provides the parking-assist module. … Read more