As the name implies, speed-sensing steering senses or detects the speed of your vehicle at any given moment. It regulates the assistance it provides, making you feel complete control of the car while steering. It uses various sensors to determine how much aid the steering will apply.
The compensation provided by the system relies on the speed the vehicle is moving at. It gives more significant assistance at low speeds, and as the speed of the vehicle increases, the service provided by the system decreases.
For instance, if you’re driving at high speeds, there is a reduction in the speed-sensing steering to give you more manual control over the steering. However, if you’re moving at slower speeds, it offers more assistance when making a turn or performing a maneuver.
How Does Speed-Sensing Steering Work
Speed-sensing steering can be used in different ways.
- You can use it with an electronic system where a control module varies the amount of electricity the electric motor receives and, in turn, provides the needed aid to the driver at the wheel.
- With a Hydraulic system where the engine’s crankshaft spins, a pump provides the required assistance to the driver.
They are both very reliable, but the electronic system has grown in popularity over the years because of fewer moving parts, and it is less prone to failure.
It merges the best trait of manual and power steering to provide you with the feel of total control when using the steering wheel. Therefore, you get more assistance from the speed sense steering at lower speeds and more manual control.
The speed-sensing steering depends on various sensors and modules to retrieve speed data. The sensors detect when you accelerate and when you step on the brake pedal to slow down. The modules and sensors then relay the data gathered to the speed sense steering to assist.
Types of Steering Systems
There are three basic types of steering systems, namely:
1. Center Pivot Steering or Turntable Steering
You can find a steering wheel on vehicles with forwarding and rearward sections for traversing terrain. The center pivot steering connects the forward and rear sections, which, when rotated, articulates the sections relative to each other for vehicle movement.
2. Side Pivot Steering or Ackerman Steering
Also known as modern steering, almost all automobiles use this. In this type of steering system, the individual front wheels rotate about the side pivot. The front axle pivots and steering arms connect to the tie rod that turns the stub axle on either side of the axles.
3. Bicycle Steering
In bicycle steering, the front wheel steers while the rear wheel remains fixed. The two wheels must roll about a point to ensure safe turning.
Does Steering Get Heavier With Speed?
The steering does get heavier with speed. As discussed earlier, as speed increases, the assistance offered by the speed-sensing steering reduces. Because there is an increase in speed, the car is more sensitive to the rotation input of the steering wheel. At this point, it is not easy to control the vehicle. Hence, the steering speed makes the car feel more stable at high speed by firming up the steering.
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Speed Proportional Electric Power Steering
Electric speed-sensing steering is a system that works with a control module. The module varies the amount of electricity the electric motor gets, giving adequate assistance to the driver controlling the wheel.
Hence, speed proportional electric power steering is a system that ensures that the road speed is proportional to the amount of pressure applied. At low speed, the steering is very light. That makes it difficult to move more than a small distance off-center at high speed.
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Many consumers or vehicle owners rarely think or completely overlook the speed-sensing steering even though driving their vehicles is an essential part of their daily routine. Those who know about it or have experienced troubles with their speed sense steering appreciate its usefulness.
The main benefit of speed-sensing steering is it allows drivers to steer their vehicles with minimal strength or effort. That does not mean the system is not immune to faults. A failure can occur due to module fault or wiring issues such as broken wire or shortcircuit.
The speed-sensing steering will usually default to full assistance at low and high speeds if the sensors return inconsistent data while driving. Failure of speed-sensing steering will not make the driver lose steering control because the system warns the driver of any fault by lighting a malfunction indicator on the vehicle’s dash.