Patent Number: 6,293,366

Title: Vehicle electric power assist steering system and method using angle based torque estimation

Abstract: A steering system (10) and method (70) for controlling the steering of a vehicle having a steering wheel (12), a steering column (14) connected to said steering wheel (12), and an electric motor (20) operatively engaged with the steering column (14) for supplying torque assist. A steering angle sensor (32) is employed for sensing an angular position .theta..sub.c of the steering wheel (12). The system has a torque estimator (40) for determining an estimated torque signal (T.sub.d est) as a function of the measured steering wheel angle, and a motor controller (30) for generating a motor control signal (U) as a function of said estimated torque. Accordingly, the present invention reduces the complexity and cost of the electric power assist steering system by eliminating the need for a conventional pinion torque sensor, without sacrificing vehicle steering performance.

Inventors: Chabaan; Rakan C. (Farmington Hills, MI), Wang; Le Yi (Novi, MI)

Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.

International Classification: B62D 6/10 (20060101); B62D 6/08 (20060101); B62D 5/04 (20060101); A01B 069/00 (); B62D 011/00 (); B62D 005/04 ()

Expiration Date: 09/25/2018