Ford fitting electric power steering to 90% of modelsEnlarge Photo
The EPS system helps correct for road irregularities and improves overall handling and steering feel as well as improving fuel economy. Unlike common hydraulic-powered systems that continuously draw power from the engine, EPS is only activated when it is needed. Ford is also developing a new safety feature that allows EPS to communicate with a vehicle's brake system to help operate advanced stability control and accident avoidance systems.
The system also opens up doors for other capabilities such as an auto-parking system. EPS systems can also be calibrated, potentially offering customers the opportunity to personalize their drive with selectable steering efforts - in other words choosing between how heavy or light the steering is.
Similar to electronic braking, EPS has not entered the market previously due to high costs and a consumer fear of leaving their lives in the hands of a malfunctionable electronic system, but with rising concern over fuel costs and improving fail-safes and safety systems, consumers may just ignore those fears and be swayed by EPS.