Electronic assistants

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Text: Juliane Gringer
Foto: BPW

BPW is launching a plug-and-play auxiliary steering system with innovative sensor technology.

Tankers that collect milk on farms or trucks that deliver drinks to supermarkets generally have to manoeuvre in tight spaces when loading and unloading – which makes it a very time-consuming process. A self-steering axle could previously only be of assistance during forwards travel in these situations. Now BPW is launching an innovative electro-hydraulic auxiliary steering system that provides steering functionality – and therefore trailer manoeuvrability – during reverse manoeuvres. It is a lightweight, independent, cost-effective and low-maintenance plug-and-play system that can be retrofitted depending on the type of chassis and is particularly easy to install. “Active Reverse Control” is the name of the electro-hydraulic auxiliary steering system, which was first shown at the IAA commercial vehicles fair 2018 in Hanover and is available for vehicles with 22.5-inch tyres.

Save fuel and protect tyres

The system enables the vehicle to be manoeuvred in reverse quickly and automatically, thus preventing damage from accidents and collisions. ‘Until now, this function could only be achieved with active steering and the entire vehicle concept had to be adapted to this. Such solutions are complex and expensive,’ explains Ziya Albayrak from the BPW product management team. ‘Custom solutions would then be produced in the workshops. We wanted to offer a product that complements our portfolio perfectly and at the same time is easy for customers to install.’

Albayrak considers the most important areas of application to be in distribution and consolidated transport and the low loader trailer segment. The use of self-steering axles has such a positive functional influence on cornering in forward travel that it reduces fuel consumption and protects the tyres. For an annual mileage of 100,000 kilometres, around 1,000 litres of diesel and four tyres can be saved. The use of the electro-hydraulic auxiliary steering system from BPW now also provides steering functionality – and therefore trailer manoeuvrability – during reversing manoeuvres.

BPW’s Active Reverse Control now also gives low loader trailers exceptional manoeuvrability when reversing.

A solution that doesn’t require approval

The new system from BPW does not require approval. The system can be operated manually using a remote control, if necessary. It consists of a control unit, a hydraulic unit and a steering cylinder with an integrated, patented steering angle sensor that is fitted locally on the self-steering axle and is operated electronically via the hydraulic unit with reservoir. The steering operates fully automatically: it is activated via the reversing lights and the rotational speed and rotational direction sensor as soon as the driver engages the reverse gear. The control unit uses innovative sensor technology that automatically detects the direction and angle of steering. The auxiliary steering system is only activated during reverse travel. During forwards travel, the system is passive and the steering is performed mechanically via the self-steering action.
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