A New EPS Control Strategy to Improve Steering Wheel Returnability
This paper proposes a new Electric Power Steering (EPS) control strategy that enables improvement to steering-wheel returnability. Using a conventional EPS controller, frictional loss torque in the steering mechanism reduces steering-wheel returnability, which drivers occasionally perceive as unpleasant. This phenomena occurs in any EPS system regardless of motor type or mounting location. To improve steering-wheel returnability for EPS-equipped vehicles, we developed a new control strategy based on estimation of alignment torque generated by tires and road surfaces. This proposed control strategy requires no supplemental sensors like steering-wheel angle or motor-angle sensors. We experimented with this proposed control algorithm using a test vehicle and confirmed that it enables improved steering wheel returnability and also better on-center feeling.