Assisted & AD Enablers, Electrification, Safety July 22, 2021

A Steering Solution Fit for the Future of Trucks and EVs

As the automotive industry speeds toward electrification and automation, safety remains of the utmost importance for both drivers and automakers. With these megatrends shaping the future of the industry, electric power steering (EPS) technology is advancing to enable advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving features, as well as support the unique needs of EVs, for vehicles of all types and sizes.

Enabling Advanced Safety and Performance in the Truck and SUV Market

According to CNBC, five of America’s 10 best-selling vehicles of 2020 were pickup trucks. The top three vehicles – Ford’s F-Series, GM’s Chevrolet Silverado and Stellantis’ (formerly FCA) Ram pickup accounted for about 13 percent of the 14.5 million new vehicles sold across the country last year.

With heavier vehicles like full-sized trucks and SUVs leading the pack in terms of new vehicle sales, automakers need an EPS system capable of handling higher loads to provide ADAS and advanced safety features on their most popular vehicles.

Nexteer’s Rack-assist electric power steering (REPS) is designed for heavier vehicles to handle higher front-axle loads and optimize packaging space. REPS also enables these heavier vehicles to take advantage of all the advanced safety and performance features enabled by EPS technology, such as lane keeping, park assist, traffic jam assist, lane departure warning and more.

Nexteer produced the world’s first 12-volt REPS system in 2010, and today we’re the global leader in REPS systems – steering nine out of 10 full-sized trucks in North America.

Steering the Next Generation of Electric Trucks

REPS systems are also playing a critical role in global automakers’ transition toward electrification because they can support electric vehicles’ unique load requirements.

During this transition to EVs, REPS systems are also helping automakers ensure their vehicles maintain the branded steering feel customers have come to know and expect from that OEM. Whether making sure an electric truck still feels like a truck or providing a sporty steering feel in performance cars, REPS systems are the heart of heavier vehicles’ personality and performance – giving the driver control and feel of the road.

With the added weight of batteries in electric trucks, automakers are also turning to our High- Output (HO) REPS systems, which nearly double the steering load capability of standard REPS. Our High-Output REPS system can steer up to 24 kilonewtons (kN) of load compared with 10-17 kN for a typical REPS system.

Over the years, Nexteer has produced more than 70 million EPS systems for more than 60 customers around the world. As part of our complete portfolio of EPS technology, our REPS systems touch the lives of millions of drivers around the world every day – defining their behind-the-wheel experience with safety, comfort, fuel efficiency and “feel of the road.” And these technologies are ready to support automakers as they make the transition to an increasingly electrified and automated future.

David Byers
David Byers is Vice President of Nexteer’s Global Electric Power Steering Product Line