The Voronezh concern Energia together with the Volga Automobile Plant has developed an electric power steering, prototypes of which are already being tested at the VAZ.
We learned long ago that AvtoVAZ plans to equip its cars with electric power steering, but for the first time we saw this new product at the Russian Regions exhibition held in Moscow. It was there, at the booth of the Energia concern, known for its space technology, that one of the amplifier models flaunted. According to preliminary data, they will install it on the new Niva VAZ 2123 and cars of the "tenth" family.
So what will the lucky ones get? Two connected via a torsion shaft connecting the steering wheel with the steering gear; tracking sensor system; an electric motor acting through a worm gear on the output shaft of the amplifier; microprocessor control unit.
As soon as the driver, turning the steering wheel, twists the torsion by 3–3.5 °, the sensor installed on it will notify the microprocessor of the beginning of the maneuver. The latter, having estimated the speed of the car, the engine speed and the intensity of the steering wheel rotation, will calculate the required force and give a command to the power electric motor, which, in fact, will help the driver make the turn. A flexible control system will spin the electric motor of the amplifier “to the fullest” at the minimum speed of the car (difficult road, parking), “smooth” the yaw of the car at high speeds, saving the driver from tedious steering. In this case, the feeling of excessive "sharpness" or "cottoniness" of the steering wheel is completely neutralized.
It is interesting that the program "sewn" into the computer, dosing the extra effort, even takes into account the elasticity of the tires! And the function of fixing the angle of rotation of the steering wheel, “adjusting” or “slowing down” the output shaft of the amplifier, will help the driver return the car to the straight line.
Unlike well-known hydraulic systems, the efficiency of which directly depends on the speed of the motor that drives the hydraulic pump, the electric amplifier remains operational even with the engine stalled - the battery would be alive. In addition, energy (and, therefore, additional gasoline) is consumed only during maneuvering. If the electronics fails, you will have to temporarily return to the shoes of the owner of the "standard equipment" - no more. Due to the high precision of manufacturing the gearbox, the effort on the steering wheel does not increase excessively.