How Ford’s Evasive Steering Works

By Christian Wardlaw 09/24/2020 5:00pm

At some point, evasive steering assist benefits any driver. That’s because we’ve all been in a situation where this relatively new technology comes in handy.

Whether a child or dog runs into the street, a smartphone-absorbed pedestrian steps off of a curb, the car ahead suddenly stops, or a big box falls off of a truck, you have or will need to swerve at the last second in order to avoid a collision. And the sooner you can steer clear of whatever is suddenly in your path, the more likely you are to avoid an accident.

That’s where evasive steering assist works its magic.

What is evasive steering assist?

According to Ford Motor Company, which offers this technology in its Escape, Edge, and Explorer SUV models, “evasive steering assist can help you maneuver around (an object) by providing additional steering support when the effort you’re applying is not sufficient.”

That’s purposely vague, and Ford is keen to point out that evasive steering assist does not actually control the steering. The driver does.

Bosch-supplied system

Bosch, which builds what it calls evasive steering support systems for automakers, supplies a clearer explanation of the technology. Working in conjunction with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, evasive steering support activates when the collision warning tech determines that a crash is about to occur and a driver starts to execute an evasive maneuver.

Once active, the technology uses data from the warning system’s camera and/or radar to calculate a safe path around the obstacle. The technology adds torque to the steering in order to best support the driver’s effort to avoid a collision. Bosch says that evasive steering support helps a driver reach maximum steering angle 25-percent sooner than standard steering.

In other words, this technology quickens steering responsiveness specifically in emergency situations.

Benefits of evasive steering

According to Bosch, evasive steering assist offers the following benefits to a driver, directly quoted as follows:

  • “Assists the driver to avoid collisions with objects upfront”
  • “Supports the driver to keep a safe path”
  • “Maintains driving stability”
  • “Reduces the risk of crashes and injuries”

While this technology can help to maintain stability, it cannot prevent a spinout. Smooth driving remains one of the best ways to avoid a collision in the first place. But it helps if you’ve got some software along for the ride to help out if necessary.