Safety systems supplier TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. revealed that it has entered new contracts for its electronic steering systems software with European and North American companies such as Ford Motor Co. for its Fiesta, C-Max, and Focus.
TRW didn’t release the values of these contracts. TRW’s programmable software features several functions such as recognizing if a vehicle is drifting from its lane and making adjustments automatically, lessening vibration in the steering wheel due to uneven roads, and automatic parallel parking.
The car’s handling will also be improved as the software will enable the driver to adjust the vehicle’s steering system. It allows for a “city mode” that would mean that the driver will need to exert only minimal effort to turn the wheel.
In a statement, Frank Lubischer, vice president for TRW steering engineering, said that the software controls these functions, which could be quickly programmed.
The electric steering system may be set to react intelligently to different vehicle and environmental conditions, such as with various tire types, payloads or road surfaces. This software enhances the safety of the driver via advances in technology, such as driver-assist technology and other TRW systems.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently reviewing these systems. Regulations with regards to these technologies are expected in the next decade in an effort to raise the safety of cars.