Delphi's Saginaw Steering unit is successfully commercializing a breakthrough system, E-STEER™, a full-performance, total steering system that is driven electronically, using brushless motors to provide the power assist.
By eliminating all hydraulics and using an electric motor for the power assist, E-STEER™ provides a number of innovative benefits: relatively easy tuning of all steering characteristics, even at the consumer level; variability in the design of power steering packages and their configuration and performance; "engine off" steering assist capability, since the system uses the vehicle's battery as its power source; fuel consumption savings; and the elimination of hydraulic fluids, seals, pumps, and hoses, meaning simplified manufacturing, weight-savings, and environmental benefits.
E-STEER™ has now gone beyond prototype concepts and steering-assist systems. It is being commercialized in Europe on the Opel Gamma S 4300, the VW 119, and the Fiat 188. In North America it has been selected for the new GM delta platform, on which Sunfire and Cavalier cars will be built. These applications will mean about two million units.
This innovation has been enabled by unrestricted engineering vision and by continuing creative uses of brushless motors and microchip and software capabilities and designs.
The initial E-STEER™ system is positioned to lead to new opportunities in the future for Delphi-S, including potential eventual use with collision-avoidance and drive by wire systems of the future.