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Steering - News
There haven't been all that many innovations concerning the steering geometry lately, apart from getting rid of the double-wishbone in favour of the two individual rods (four-link). In one of the below videos there is
something, which at first glance, looks quite spectacular. Just have a look at the wheel-position when the steering is turned to maximum lock.
They maintain that an angle of 75° is possible and also a turning circle of 7 meters. This of course, is only feasible in a car with a short wheel-base. The question, whether such an extreme steering angle can even be
realised in the compact car class, where front-wheel drive is of paramount importance, is left unanswered by the ZF company.
Somewhat conspicuous, are the plugs on the wheel-bearings, visible from the inside. Here, drive shafts could also be pushed through and bolted on. Indeed, which drive shaft can handle a diffraction of more than
45°? Of course, the engineers at ZF also know this and have given the prototype wheel-hub motors in the rear.
The actual steering construction itself is less spectacular. The basis is a common, but filigree construction with triangular wishbones. However, mounted on the upper wishbone, is a rod which swivels to the front. At
the half-way point, the tie-rod notches in and at the end a there is a further rod to the steering column stalk. Small steering actions are carried out at a low- larger actions at a higher ratio.
The question remains, wouldn't this also be possible with a direct connection from the tie-rod to the steering column stalk? Excess work on the steering wheel could be compensated for by using an active steering.
Indeed, perhaps this construction is more reasonable for compact cars. By the way, the vehicle shown below has relatively narrow, 155 width tyres, this fits in well with the extreme incline of the wheels when cornering
but makes it difficult to achieve the short braking distances required nowadays.
Now, a major supplier like ZF, is not going to be satisfied with a higher lock-to-lock steering angle and parking by Smartphone or smart watch. Once again, it's all about data, the data which arises during the trip. The
system saves this data to a cloud and uses it for more safety, even without GPS. Should someone be cornering too fast on his/her way to work, the PreVision Cloud Assistant could give a warning or even intervene.
The possible switch-over to (partially) autonomous driving can occur through a button on the steering wheel (see picture). This is totally sensitive to touch. It can very quickly recognise that the car is to park itself
automatically and request and show in the display, that the wheel is to be released. Vice versa, by touching the steering wheel again, one has, once more, control of the car oneself. 08/15