Ford's new adaptive steering technology that's been added to 2017 Super Duty trucks and the 2016 Edge mid-size SUV improves steering efficiency and effort so the vehicles are easier to steer at various speeds, according to Ford.
The adaptive steering technology can make adjustments based on driver input and vehicle speed. The technology changes the steering gear ratio to optimize vehicle response for various operating conditions.
When used on the Super Duty trucks, the system improves highway comfort and low-speed maneuverability by increasing and decreasing the steering ratio up to 30%. It improves driver comfort and confidence for towing or hauling heavy loads with the tow/haul mode engaged.
The system, which is contained in the steering wheel, includes an electric motor, a small computer, and a gear unit. When in use, adaptive steering can add or subtract rotations to driver input at the steering wheel. Up to one full revolution can be saved at low speeds when steering lock-to-lock, according to Ford.
At low speeds, the system increases the angle of the front wheels as the steering wheel is turned, which results in the driver needing to steer less to maneuver, said Lodewijk Wijffels, Ford adaptive steering technical specialist.