Skip advert
Advertisement

Ferrari trials new steering technology

Ferrari has patented a new innovation said to improved steering accuracy. Details here

Ferrari trials new steering technology

Ferrari has been granted a patent on a steering system that could promise greater accuracy than ever before.

The new patent describes a system that is designed to reduce the inaccuracy and inconsistent feedback inherent in existing steering setups - potentially making the next generation of sports cars steer with greater precision than those available today.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It works on the basis that in a regular steering setup, the combined effects of a steering box and universal joints in the steering column linkage result in a ‘transmission error’ between the driver's input on the wheel and response at the front wheels. Essentially, as the driver turns the wheel the column and linkage have to take up initial slack - however small - before the input is registered by the wheels.

This transmission error also results in inconsistent effort needed to turn the steering wheel with a given force. The patent also notes that the steering geometry of current vehicles also leads to differences in effort according to whether the driver is turning left or right.

Ferrari's patent details a setup that eliminates this transmission error and minute variances in steering effort. Software calculates the angle and torque applied to the steering wheel, data which is then sent to an electrical servomechanism to apply proportional force to the steering system itself. The connection to the wheels is still mechanical, but the power assistance setup compensates for that "transmission error" and the variances in forces that result.

The patent notes that due to the way the system is set up, the driver ‘perceives’ the same effort as they would were the system not in place - but the effort itself is more consistent. Ferrari says the system is simple and inexpensive to implement as the physical steering hardware remains the same, while the software requires neither large processing power, nor large reserves of memory.

What such a system means for actual driver feedback is unclear - the patent states that in the system described, ‘the driving perception perceived by the driver is not always optimal’. Ferrari remains tight-lipped on the system as far as future road cars are concerned, stating that it ‘does not pass any comments on patents registered’, and that there's no guarantee patented systems will appear on any future Ferrari road cars.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Ferrari 458 (2009-2015): review, specs and buying guide
Ferrari 458 – front
In-depth reviews

Ferrari 458 (2009-2015): review, specs and buying guide

Few supercars have aged so gracefully; the 458 remains thrilling, engaging and deeply desirable today
15 Sep 2023
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

BMW M135i 2024 review – a match for the Volkswagen Golf R?
BMW M135i review
Reviews

BMW M135i 2024 review – a match for the Volkswagen Golf R?

BMW’s hot hatch is a good car, but no longer a unique one, and misses the mark for pure fun
22 May 2024
Ford Mustang GT 2024 review – old school in all the right ways
Ford Mustang GT – front
Reviews

Ford Mustang GT 2024 review – old school in all the right ways

We loved the new Ford Mustang in track-focused Dark Horse form – how does the standard GT fare?
23 May 2024
Renault Sport Clio 172 Cup (2002 - 2003): a rally homologation special for under £10,000
Renault Sport Clio 172 Cup
Features

Renault Sport Clio 172 Cup (2002 - 2003): a rally homologation special for under £10,000

A true race-bred special, the Clio 172 Cup is one of the lightest – and purest – Renault Sport models ever
22 May 2024