ZF Launches AKC Active Rear Axle Steering System
A greater steering angle of up to ten degrees increases the agility of long vehicles and "Steer-by-wire" technology simplifies the integration into automated driving functions. ZF's position as market leader in vehicle motion control is underlined by this product launch on a prestige brand.
Available with either a central controller having a single, larger and centrally placed actuator or dual actuators, a system especially suitable for sports car design. The AKC system transforms car rear axles into additional steering systems helping to enhance vehicle safety, comfort and driving dynamics. The first generation dual actuator system, went into series production in 2013. To date, AKC has been installed in more than 500,000 vehicles across numerous international car manufacturers.
The central actuators have an increased actuating force of 11 kN (previously 8 kN), which makes them suitable for vehicles weighing up to 3.5 t. An improved adjustment stroke now allows the rear wheels to turn by up to ten degrees (previously 4.5 degrees). Thus, the new system primarily supports battery-powered vehicles (BEV). Thanks to their lithium-ion batteries, these vehicles are not only heavier, they often have a longer wheelbase and energy storage units usually placed between the axles. Without rear axle steering, these vehicles would be more difficult to maneuver, especially in urban environments.
Another innovation of this AKC generation is the "steer-by-wire" system, which is based on a new electronic architecture. Thanks to state-of-the-art cyber security, the control unit developed by ZF is protected against hacker attacks and works together with current parking and steering assistants. Thus, even larger sedans can be steered easily through narrow alleys and parking garages.