As electrification, automation and software control continue to evolve, the future of electric and autonomous vehicles will increasingly opt for steer-by-wire solutions rather than mechanically connected or hydraulic systems. Wire-controlled steering technology, which means that the driver’s commands are transmitted to the steering system entirely through electronic signals, eliminates the need for a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the front axle.
ZF recently premiered its advanced steer-by-wire system and announced that the technology will be the first to be introduced in mass production in a mainstream global manufacturer’s vehicle next year. ZF has also secured orders for mass-produced steer-by-wire systems in all major markets around the world, establishing its leadership in the field. Similarly, in the braking sector, ZF is the world leader in integrated brake control systems, which also use in-line technology.
For example, ZF steer-by-wire systems enable fully autonomous vehicle control for short busses and driverless cabs. The system also offers unique capabilities for family passenger cars, such as a retractable steering wheel for fully autonomous driving modes, fully adaptive steering control for reducing the steering wheel rotation angle when stopping or driving at low speeds, and enhanced crash safety by removing the steering column.