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Power steering systems supplement the torque that the driver applies to the steering wheel. Traditional power steering systems are hydraulic systems, but electric power steering (EPS) is becoming much more common. EPS eliminates many HPS components such as the pump, hoses, fluid, drive belt, and pulley. For this reason, electric steering systems tend to be smaller and lighter than hydraulic systems.
EPS systems have variable power assist, which provides more assistance at lower vehicle speeds and less assistance at higher speeds. They do not require any significant power to operate when no steering assistance is required. For this reason, they are more energy efficient than hydraulic systems.
There are four forms of EPS based on the position of the assist motor. They are the column assist type (C-EPS), the pinion assist type (P-EPS), the direct drive type (D-EPS) and the rack assist type (R-EPS). The C-EPS type has a power assist unit, torque sensor, and controller all connected to the steering column. In the P-EPS system, the power assist unit is connected to the steering gear’s pinion shaft. This type of system works well in small cars. The D-EPS system has low inertia and friction because the steering gear and assist unit are a single unit. The R-EPS type has the assist unit connected to the steering gear. R-EPS systems can be used on mid- to full-sized vehicles due to their relatively low inertia from high reduction gear ratios.
Unlike a hydraulic power steering system that continuously drives a hydraulic pump, the efficiency advantage of an EPS system is that it powers the EPS motor only when necessary. This results in reduced vehicle fuel consumption compared to the same vehicle with an HPS system. These systems can be tuned by simply modifying the software controlling the ECU. This provides a unique and cost effective opportunity to adjust the steering “feel” to suit the automotive model class. An additional advantage of EPS is its ability to compensate for one-sided forces such as a flat tire. It is also capable of steering in emergency maneuvers in conjunction with the electronic stability control.
Over the last few years, OEMs have shifted focus from hydraulic to electric power steering systems in the interests of reduced complexity and increased efficiency. EPS systems use an electric motor instead of a hydraulic pump to provide steering assistance and thus help to reduce the weight of the vehicle. Electronic sensors calculate the amount of steering force being applied by the driver and, with the help of an electric motor, the force is amplified to make steering easier
Despite the high demand for electric power steering systems, this market still experiences certain obstacles. The higher cost of EPS as compared to traditional steering systems and lack of steering feel can hinder the growth of the market.
Presently, the power steering market of commercial vehicles is dominated by hydraulic power steering (HPS), which has a complicated structure, consumes high power, leaks easily, and is difficult to control. EPS offers the advantages of adjustable power, good steering, low fuel consumption, and no pollution. Therefore, it would gradually be used in commercial vehicles.
The steering market in the automotive industry is continuously evolving with the changing dynamics of this industry. With the advent of autonomous vehicles, OEMs are innovating their conventional steering system. Steer-by-wire technology is one such innovation that will replace the entire steering system in an autonomous vehicle. This type of steering system will remove the steering linkage of a traditional electric power steering system.
The electric power steering market for Asia Pacific is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. High volume markets with increased demand for electronic and fuel efficient systems in passenger cars make Asia Pacific the largest and fastest growing market for electric power steering. Also, the existing and upcoming vehicle emission regulations in developing countries will further drive the market growth in the region.
The Global Electric Power Steering Market report provides a holistic evaluation of the market. The report offers a comprehensive analysis of key segments, trends, drivers, restraints, competitive landscape, and factors that are playing a substantial role in the market.
In addition to this, pressure on car manufacturers around the world has been increasing to adopt technological solutions that meet energy efficiency standards which are anticipated to further boost the Global Electric Power Steering in the forecast period. Moreover, the continuous growth in the automotive sector in fast-developing economies like Asia and Latin America is further pushing the growth of the market.
On the contrary, when compared to the conventional steering systems, the electric power steering systems are costly. Also, it has been observed that such systems lack the steering feel which could be a few of the major restraining factors in the growth of this market in the coming years.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the entire automotive industry. The European automotive industry has been severely impacted by the pandemic and, according to the ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association). The EU passenger car market contracted by 23.7% to 9.9 million units in 2020, a drop of ~3 Million units.
Considering the North American market, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), despite encouraging reports on vaccine development, numerous risks remain, and the US will not rebound to pre-COVID levels until 2022 at the earliest. This scenario is expected to affect the electric power steering system market as the growth of this market is directly related to the production of vehicles.
The market share analysis of the key industry players has been conducted based on factors such as the company’s overall revenue, segmental revenue, product portfolio, market presence, and recent developments. The chapter also highlights the key growth strategies adopted by market players from 2018 to till date.. The electric power steering market is dominated by a few globally established players such as JTEKT (Japan), Nexteer (US), Robert Bosch (Germany), ZF (Germany), and NSK (Japan).
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