How Electric Power-Assisted Steering Systems Work

Electric power-assisted steering systems are becoming more common in new cars and trucks. They offer many benefits and can improve the overall driving experience. Electric power-assisted steering systems increase safety, especially for older drivers, and provide better handling for all drivers in a variety of conditions. This article explains how electric power-assisted steering works, so you can understand the benefits before buying a car that uses this technology.

Power-Assisted Steering

Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) is a type of system that uses electric motors to assist in turning the wheels. These motors are activated by sensors on the vehicle that determine when assistance is needed or desired by reading data from various other sensors. While this is not autopilot or self-driving, it does assist the driver by anticipating and adjusting the car accordingly. 

The benefits of EPAS extend beyond performance enhancements; they also provide additional protection for drivers. Think of electric power-assisted steering as an artificial extension of your own strength, which helps you maintain control over your vehicle while still being able to drive safely.

Power Assist

This means that any action done by the driver will be amplified by a system, and the corresponding information will be transferred to an electric motor. This motor will then apply the needed assistance at any given time. 

This system is especially helpful in combatting driver fatigue due to the reduced effort required to turn the steering wheel. Furthermore, this reduction in effort reduces stress on the driver’s hands and arms while driving long distances. As this response allows for better control over the vehicle’s movement when changing lanes or performing evasive maneuvers, power-assisted steering improves the handling of your vehicle. 

Some vehicles, such as Teslas, even allow drivers to set their steering mode. These user-specific setting adjustments available from Tesla and other electric vehicles allow you to calibrate your specific user behaviors. 

Body Control Module

The body control module is a computer that communicates with other components in the vehicle. It's responsible for safety features, such as anti-lock brakes and traction control. 

Engine Control Module

The engine control module is the computer that controls all the engine and transmission functions. It monitors data from sensors to determine how much power should be going through each component, as well as when and where that power needs to be sent. If you suddenly decelerate while driving, it sends less power so that your wheels don't spin out, allowing for smooth performance with minimal emissions.

Electric Efficiency

Electric power-assisted steering systems are more efficient than hydraulic systems; however, they’re also typically more expensive. The long-term benefits, such as fuel efficiency, are also improved because less energy is required for turning tires during normal driving conditions. These small improvements save you money over time. 

EPAS Explained

Electric power-assisted steering systems can be used in a variety of vehicles, from small cars to large trucks. They improve the comfort and safety of the driver, which may help prevent accidents. Hopefully, by walking through this explainer, you can see the benefits for yourself. If you’re considering buying a new car or truck, check out your local selection of vehicles with an electric power-assisted steering system.