New Ford Adaptive Steering system on the way

30 May, 2014 1:58pm Jordan Bishop

Ford aims to simplify handling with next-generation steering technology, set to arrive in Europe next year

Ford is preparing to launch a new Adaptive Steering system, which the manufacturer believes will improve handling at both high and low speeds.

The technology works by altering the ratio of turns required to move the front wheels depending on how fast the car is moving.

According to Ford, it makes vehicles “easier to manoeuvre and more enjoyable to drive”, a point the brand has attempted to illustrate in a brief video comparing Adaptive Steering with a traditional fixed ratio set-up (below).

At lower speeds, it means fewer turns of the wheel are required to achieve the same movement on the road, and will apparently make parking and tight city driving less strenuous.

Speeding up causes the system to automatically adjust, smoothing out driver input with a view to increase the car’s agility. 

A precision-controlled actuator, an electric motor and gearing system, is central to the new tech. Fitted inside the steering wheel, the Adaptive Steering add-on doesn’t alter the vehicle’s traditional system, and adds to or subtracts from the driver’s input at source.

It’ll arrive in Europe next year and will initially feature in larger Ford models, including the new Edge SUV, and could also make its way into the second-generation S-MAX.