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Increasing Demand for Effortless Maneuverability of Vehicles to Boost Automotive Steering Systems

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The market for automotive steering systems is majorly fuelled by the growth in demand of the automotive sector within the developing markets. In addition, the rising demand for fuel-efficient vehicles has also augmented the market for steering systems. Furthermore, the increasing demand for effortless maneuverability in vehicles has also resulted in the growth of companies operating in the market for automotive steering systems.

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In terms of steering systems type, the market is segmented into hydraulic power steering, electronic power steering, and electro-hydraulic power steering. Amongst these, electro-hydraulic power steering systems have become more popular in the market as they include the benefits of both electronic power steering and hydraulic power steering systems and thus deliver enhanced results. The key functional areas, advantages, and differences between these three types of automotive steering systems are presented as follows:

  • Electronic Power Steering Systems: These types of power steering systems utilize an electric motor for assisting the vehicle or the driver. Sensors in these systems help to locate the torque and the position of the steering column. Electronic power steering systems retain the mechanical linkage between the steering gear and steering wheel. Thus, if there is a power failure or a component failure, this mechanical linkage acts as a backup. These systems have a number of benefits and the key benefit is the fuel-efficiency provided by these systems. In addition, electronic power steering systems do not require the belt-driven engine accessories and the chassis mounted steering gear. This has greatly simplified both the maintenance and manufacturing of these systems. They provide a better response at different levels of speed in comparison with hydraulic power steering systems.
  • Hydraulic Power Steering Systems: These systems are more complicated as compared to electric power steering systems. The majority of the steering systems operate by utilizing hydraulic systems in order to multiply the force applied to the steered vehicle. Hydraulic pressure comes via a rotary vane pump or a gerotor driven by the engine of the vehicle. The steering wheels operate valves for controlling the flow to the cylinder. In hydraulic pumps, the flow rate delivered is proportional to the engine’s speed. Thus, the steering will function faster at high engine speeds and vice versa. The steering has the steering booster arranged in a way that in case the booster fails, the former will still keep functioning. A malfunction of the power steering can highly impact the vehicle’s handling. Thus, regular maintenance and fluid level inspection is required for the optimum working of hydraulic power steering systems.

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  • Electro-hydraulic Power Steering Systems: These systems are also known as hybrid systems and utilize a hydraulic assist technology similar to that used by standard systems; however, in these systems, the hydraulic pressure comes via an electric-motor-driven pump rather than from a drive belt. These systems are high-performance systems accompanying enhanced linearity and low friction levels. Firmer steering while driving at high speeds and light action steering during maneuvering are amongst the prime advantages of electro-hydraulic power steering systems. In addition, these systems save fuel as they only consume energy as and when required. Owing to these advantages, the demand for electro-hydraulic power steering systems is poised to rise further in forthcoming years.