Nexteer marks 50 millionth electric power steering system

AUBURN HILLS — Auto supplier Nexteer Automotive announced the production milestone of 50 million electric power steering (EPS) systems.

Nexteer EPS systems increase fuel efficiency by up to 6 percent and CO2 emissions by up to 8 grams per kilometer.

Featured in global vehicle segments from small cars to full-size trucks, Nexteer’s EPS systems house a central computer that compiles data and sends it to the steering system, which translates the data into mechanical steering functions.

“Many people may not realize that our EPS systems are a gate-way technology that enables advanced driver-assistance features, such as lane-keeping, park assist, active return to center, traffic jam assist and more,” said Steve Spicer, vice president of the global EPS product line. “EPS systems will ultimately help pave the way for even more advanced safety features in semi and fully autonomous driving.”

In addition to advanced safety features, EPS uses software to tailor the driver’s experience behind the wheel to deliver the OEM’s desired brand experience. In other words, Nexteer can alter the EPS algorithm to make a muscle car steering feel like a muscle car or a luxury vehicle steering feel like a luxury vehicle.

As Nexteer develops more advanced steering systems, the software becomes more complex and sophisticated. For example, a standard Nexteer EPS system requires about 4.3 million lines of code, and Nexteer’s Steer-by-Wire system requires even more — about 13.5 million lines of code. That compares to 400,000 lines of code in the first space shuttle.

Nexteer remains the No. 1 steering supplier in North America and has moved up to the No. 3 slot as a global steering supplier thanks to a 6 percent global growth rate in terms of units sold. Nexteer first introduced its 12-volt EPS system in 1999. Today, the system can be found in nine out of 10 full-size trucks in the U.S. market and one out of four small cars in Europe.

“Nexteer’s EPS market growth can be attributed to our depth and breadth of our EPS product portfolio, our global manufacturing footprint as well as Nexteer’s in-house ownership of design, testing, manufacturing and quality program execution,” Spicer said. “It’s an exciting time in our industry to be a part of the evolving role of steering for today’s vehicles and tomorrow’s re-defined mobility.”

Nexteer’s global workforce of more than 13,000 people serves more than 50 customers in every major region of the world. The company has 24 manufacturing plants, three technical centers and 14 customer service centers strategically located in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Nexteer Automotive customers include BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, PSA Group, Toyota and VW, as well as automakers in India and China.

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