NSK announced that it has developed a new electric power steering (EPS) system that is compliant with ISO Functional Safety for automobiles. The new system will support the higher level of safety that has been in strong demand in recent years. In addition, this new product provides new driving support functions. NSK intends to expansively market this new product for applications in many compact cars throughout the world.
New electric power steering product features
1. Completely Compliant with ISO 26262 Functional Safety Standard for Road Vehicles*
NSK built a development process that was compliant with international standards and then underwent audits and assessments for functional safety. Furthermore, NSK has enhanced the diagnostics for its microcomputers, torque sensors and other to achieve the safety targets set forth by automobile manufacturers.
* An international standard that is being applied mainly in Europe that focuses on incorporation of functionality for securing safety by reducing risk to an acceptable level based on the identification of the root causes of possible electrical system failures.
2. Compact ECU
In using packageless semiconductors and semiconductor relays that have no mechanical contacts, NSK has achieved a more compact, lighter product, making the radiators more compact and reducing the overall number of components. The result is a 10% decrease in volume from that of the most recent conventional product (or a 45% volume decrease and 40% weight decrease from the original product which came out in the previous decade).
3. Additional features capability
The new product features built-in steer angle sensors in addition to internal steering torque sensors to provide compatibility with a variety of vehicle controls.
Main Applications of the new electric power steering
With this new product, NSK has answered the call for ISO Functional Safety compliance. NSK will pursue expansive application of this product to a wide variety of compact cars.
ISO 26262 is quite hard to satisfy, even more when it comes to electric power steering systems. Indeed, there are many items in the system which, due to a failure, can lead to a fatal injury. Do you think that NSK did certify the complete product for ASIL D (highest safety level)?