First application in the new Mercedes Benz A and B-Class

The new Mercedes Benz A and B-Class models are the first production vehicles to feature Bosch’s new steering assist system. In a joint development project with DaimlerChrysler, the new system supports the driver in making optimal steering inputs in critical driving situations by either enhancing or reducing assistance by the power steering system, thereby guiding the driver to an optimal steering wheel lock.

New functions through networking of existing systems

New functions are increasingly being initiated on the basis of networking existing electronic systems in the car. One such example is steering assist, which utilises the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and the electric power steering by upgrading the software. The new assist function supplements the stabilising effect of ESP and counteracts skidding at a very early stage. Steering assist evaluates ESP sensor data on the actual driving mode, identifies critical situations and thus determines the optimal steering lock. If the actual steering by the driver does not concur with the calculated values, a corrective steering moment is added to the normal power support. The driver will thus intuitively adjust the steering angle to the calculated value. The consequences are quicker and more accurate steering movements and the car stays safely on track. As a result, ESP does not have to interfere so frequently through the brake system.

Improved steering in critical situations

Many drivers are too late or too timid in their steering movements when the rear-end breaks out, and then they tend to overreact. Steering assist supports the driver in relieving the critical situation through correct steering maneuvers. The function is also beneficial in case of emergency braking, if the car has one side on a slippery surface and the other side on a dry road. Even with ABS operating, the driver must keep the car on track with mild steering movements. Steering assist is designed in a way that it supports a driver in these situations, but never dictates to the driver. The driver may override the systems’ intentions at any time. Critical situations can be controlled more efficiently and safely with activated steering assist, while also enhancing the stabilising effect of ESP.

Aside from the steering assistance, Bosch supplies the Common Rail injection system for diesel engines, the Electronic Stability Program, engine cooler, starter motor, combi instrument, spark plugs and a number of sensors for the A-Class and the B-Class. DaimlerChrysler, in conjunction with the Bosch subsidiary Van Doorne’s Transmissie (VDT), developed Autotronic - a new continuously variable transmission. VDT is also supplier of the system’s push belt.

Published : 19/03/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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