Automotive steering system research: EPS dominates the market, SBW prepares for fully autonomous driving. After hundreds of years of development, automotive steering systems have derived HPS, EHPS, EPS, SBW and other types.
New York, Aug. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "China Automotive Steering System Industry Report, 2021" - https://www.reportlinker.com/p06128350/?utm_source=GNW
At present, HPS (hydraulic power steering) and EHPS (electronic hydraulic power steering) have been widely used in commercial vehicles, while EPS (electric power steering) is mainly applied to passenger cars, and SBW (Steer-by-Wire) has the lowest penetration rate.
EPS occupies the passenger car market, while HPS and EHPS dominate the commercial vehicle market
In Chinese passenger car steering system market, the share of EPS has increased from 80.1% in 2016 to 96.4% in 2020; only a small number of passenger cars adopt HPS and EHPS solutions. Relatively speaking, the higher the price of cars, the higher the proportion of EPS solutions applied.
Due to its small size, low power consumption, light weight and flexibility, EPS is the first choice for new energy vehicles. EPS accounted for 99.91% of the new energy passenger car market in 2020, and this proportion is expected to reach 100% in the future.
HPS and EHPS are usually seen in most commercial vehicles, especially heavy-duty vehicles, thanks to their high power and low prices. In 2020, China’s commercial vehicle steering systems were still dominated by HPS and EHPS, of which EHPS made up for 40.1%. However, the market shares of HPS and EHPS will gradually be grabbed by EPS in the future because they not only consume lots of power, but also cause hydraulic oil leakage, which do not meet environmental protection requirements.
The EPS penetration rate of local passenger car brands is gradually increasing
In the Chinese passenger car market, the EPS penetration rate of Chinese passenger car brands is much lower than that of foreign passenger car brands. In 2020, the former was 90.7%, while the latter hit as high as 100%. However, with the gradual tightening of environmental protection, local brands will gradually abandon the polluting steering systems such as HPS and EHPS. By 2026, the EPS penetration rate of Chinese passenger car brands is expected to reach 100%.
Multinational companies dominate the market, while local companies strive to survive
At present, the global automotive steering system market is mainly occupied by vendors such as JTEKT, Bosch, ZF, ThyssenKrupp, NSK, Mando, Hitachi Astemo. These multinational companies have deployed the Chinese market through sole proprietorship or joint ventures, firmly occupied the supply channels of luxury and joint venture brand automakers, and penetrated into the supply system of local automakers.
There are more than 100 local companies in China, but most of them are small companies targeting the aftermarket with weak competitiveness. Zhejiang Shibao, CAAS, Elite, Nexteer Automotive, etc. which have relatively strong competitiveness can compete with multinational giants. For example, Nexteer Automotive and Zhejiang Shibao have entered the supply systems of American, German and Japanese automakers by virtue of their robust strength, and have taken places in the siege of multinational companies.
Major vendors and automakers have deployed SBW which will be promising in the future
The biggest difference between SBW and EPS is that the former removes the mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the rack and uses ECU to transmit commands instead. SBW features fast response, flexible installation, lighter weight, and improved collision safety.
SBW technology was proposed as early as 1950. After decades of development, it has now been mass-produced on Infiniti’s several models. Although SBW still has problems such as high cost, immature technology, limited user acceptance, low penetration rate, etc., some automotive steering vendors and automakers are very optimistic about SBW technology and are making efforts herein. There will be a number of production models using SBW.
In June 2021, China Automotive Systems, Inc. (CAAS) announced that Hubei Henglong Automotive Systems Group Co. Ltd., a unit of the company, had bought 40% stake in Sentient AB, a Swedish automotive technology company. Sentient has patents in the field of wire control.
On June 5, 2021, Shanghai NASN Automotive Electronics Co., Ltd. released three new chassis-by-wire products, including SBW system solutions that support L3-L4 autonomous driving. 6 redundancy features ensure the normal operation of the steering system.
In 2020, Tesla planned to establish a new team in Austin, Texas, USA, responsible for motors, transmission systems and chassis technologies. In the recruitment, Tesla required candidates to have work experience in ""SBW and brake/motor integration"". In the future, Tesla may be the first that applied SBW technology to Cybertruck battery-electric pickups.
In June 2021, Great Wall Motors launched Coffee Smart 2.0, equipped with an electronic mechanical SBW system which is the first domestic SBW technology supporting L4+ autonomous driving. From the power supply to sensors, controllers and actuators, it adopts a triple backup design with the ASIL D safety level. It is expected to be officially put into commercial application in 2023.
Subaru announced that it will use SBW technology on Solterra, which will be launched in 2022.
In 2020, Dongfeng Trucks and Inceptio Technology cooperated to verify L3 heavy-duty truck prototype A. In conjunction with Knorr-Bremse, they comprehensively demonstrated and repeatedly adjusted and optimized technical solutions, performance parameters, time schedules, development costs, etc., and completed the L3 brake-by-wire and steering redundancy solutions. By the end of 2021, L3 autonomous trucks will be mass-produced and landed on arterial expressways.
China Automotive Engineering Research Institute Co., Ltd. (CAERI) has worked with Huawei, Baidu, Schaeffler and many other companies to jointly compile SBW and Brake System Communication Protocol Requirements and Test Specifications, which is conducive to promoting the development of SBW technology and its application in intelligent vehicles.
At present, the penetration rate of SBW in China is extremely low, and was estimated at 0.1% in 2020. In the next few years, the penetration rate will jump rapidly, and it is expected to reach 15% by 2026. Meanwhile, the market scale will gradually expand to RMB12.16 billion, with lucrative development prospects.
EPS is the key to ADAS functions, while SBW is one of the key technologies for fully autonomous driving
The automotive steering system is closely related to the development of autonomous driving. At present, EPS is the key to ADAS functions, serving different levels of autonomous driving with typical ADAS functions like APA, LDW&LKA and DSR. However, in essence, the steering signal of EPS still comes from the driver, while the steering signal of SBW stems from the algorithm. Therefore, SBW can be completely separated from the driver to control steering as one of the key technologies for fully automatic driving in the future.
At present, some automotive steering system companies have begun to deploy autonomous driving.
Nexteer Automotive can cover L1-L5 autonomous driving through its EPS, high-availability EPS, SBW and other product portfolios. 32% of EPS orders signed by the company are involved with L3-L5 ADAS/AD functions. The ADAS-related patents accounted for 22.7% of the company’s total in 2020.
In terms of autonomous driving and advanced driving assistance, JTEKT develops and produces EPS that meets the national standard ISO26262 for automotive functional safety. By dual-systemizing the torque sensor that monitors the driver’s operation and the motor drive that provides the steering assist torque, the sustainability of EPS is improved. In addition, JTEKT has developed SBW technology for autonomous driving above L3.
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